For lessons requiring teacher input, alumni use a plethora of online tools. Megan Norris, BS ’14 and a current master’s student, used free tools to create such compelling instructional videos for her first-graders that her district asked her to lead two summer professional development sessions.
Norris’ new Instagram page linking to her YouTube videos — The How-To Teacher — netted 138 followers its first day.
She’s big on teaching kids using leadership guru Tim Kight’s Focus 3: Event + reaction = outcome. Their outcome is “growing your brain,” she tells them, “so how will you react to this event? Use your iPad? Work with a friend?”
It works for adults, too: Their event is COVID-19.
“The outcome is we’re still teaching,” she said. “So, what is your reaction? Well my reaction is, I’m going to learn new things because that’s the only way my kids are going to stay engaged.”
“We still want them to love school. We’ve got to bring what we can to the table for them to know, ‘Hey, we’re learning, we’re having fun, we get to see our friends. It just looks a little different.’”
Major crises have always driven great change. Why not harness this one?
“I think this is an opportunity to reimagine the education space,” Dixon said. “We should be forward thinking. We should be partnering with colleges like we are, and really thinking that when this deadly, ugly virus is over, our schools are going to look so different.”
It’s time to “get out of the box,” she said, and transform our schools for the better.