Individuals from more than 20 countries joined us for a recent webinar exploring future tensions and uncertainties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The informal conversation centered discussions on eight main questions:
- Did we see this coming?
- What big critical uncertainties do we see?
- What scenarios for learning might come about during and after COVID-19?
- What assumptions might we benefit from challenging?
- What questions should leaders be asking themselves?
- What do we mean by transformation, and what might our preferences for the future be?
- How might we define community in the future – learning community or broader community?
- Are we seeing things that are giving us hope?
KnowledgeWorks futurists Katie King, Katherine Prince, Maria Romero and Jason Swanson shared their early thinking about what COVID-19 could mean for the future of learning. There was a consensus that despite the “very understandable and very human reaction to want to go back to life as we know it,” there is an opportunity for educators, parents and community members to ask something different of education when so many of the structures that have impeded change – like seat time and school buildings – are in flux. Swanson asked, “Can we overcome that very human want to go back to how things were, even if that’s no longer an option? Can we deepen, spread and sustain the amazing work to a point that it’s almost transformational the system?”
The webinar and live notes by Sara O’Keeffe, graphic recorder from the University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships and Research, are below.