The classroom door has been a universal symbol of access to education since the one-room schoolhouse. It is a manifestation of the instruction and services available to students just on the other side. Students, parents, and teachers know where it was and what to expect in instruction and services on the other side.
In the closing months of last school year, as every district shifted to some form of remote emergency crisis learning access, that singular representation of learning was gone. It was no longer clear what we could expect from learning and, many times, not even clear where we should be going (or logging in) for learning.
The pandemic has exposed a major gap in plans for education continuity during a time of crisis.
When the physical door is locked due to a pandemic, underwater after a flood, or unreachable during a snow event, students too often are cut off from their learning opportunities and school services. Until the last decade or so, the reality of school closures and delayed or discontinued education was widely accepted as there was no real parallel for the classroom door. Developments in learning technology have opened a new door.
D2L has published a new policy brief – “A New Door to the Classroom” – discussing digital learning infrastructure and creating resiliency in our learning systems by developing a new parallel door to the classroom through the use of a learning management system (LMS) that is accessible to every district, student, and parent. An LMS is an online platform that facilitates the learning that takes place in or out of the classroom. With the Brightspace LMS for K-12, teachers will have the ability to share resources, assess and provide feedback, encourage collaboration between students, engage in professional learning and development activities, and use personalized tools to complement individual learning needs.