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What if We Took Our Chance to Change Education Forever?

What if We Took Our Chance to Change Education Forever? Brian Costello  One of the many major sectors that have been drastically altered by the surreal events throughout 2020 has been education.  Hundreds of millions of school-aged kids and young adults have seen their traditional school setting either significantly changed, or in some ways, completely destroyed.  Back in April of this year educators across the world and the world wide web were looking at the tragedy as an opportunity to rebuild the system and create a better world in which our children can learn. Fast forward eight months, and as we look to put a year full of tragedy and disruption behind us, so many schools around the world are rushing to return to "normal". Unfortunately, for so much of the world, normal was no longer filling the needs of learners and society in the 21st Century.  We've had the chance, and while many of us have been pushing ideas to try and change education for the better, there are st
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Virtual Reality for Virtual Learning

 Learning with virtual reality has hit a small snag in the hybrid and virtual learning scenario, getting kids access to materials necessary to engage in immersive experiences.  During hybrid experiences, kids see headsets, and their excitement peaks, but unfortunately using them is not necessarily conducive to safety in the current pandemic environment.  Despite this, virtual reality still provides incredible opportunities for learning and also amazing opportunities for opening up possibilities to future pathways in the world.  Virtual Reality remains a critical technology for industry and enterprise as companies move into the virtual world.   Two major challenges are what to do with headsets now, and how we can access virtual experiences at home.  One of the gateways for many kids and teachers into the world of virtual reality has been Google Expeditions.  Expeditions was created as a way to bring kids into learning through VR and immerse them in the environment they are learning abou

Taking Flight

 Taking Flight If I have learned anything from my time working with middle school students, it is that they have a strong desire for their work to actually matter.  As we continue to develop this new idea of school and what we can do while students are learning in different environments, there are countless opportunities to give students a chance to find some control over their world.   There are any number of ways in which we can give students a chance to make a difference.  With so many things being out of control, giving kids the ability to take control of something and make a positive change is an important part of helping them to grow.  One of the best ways to give kids ownership over their world is through study and action of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are 17 SDGs that provide us with a variety of entry points to find an interest for nearly anyone looking for their work to matter.   So often we find ideas that are worth sharing with one another. Those ideas a

If It Looks Like a Duck...

 If It Looks Like a Duck... We know the old saying: If it looks like a duck, and it sounds like a duck, and it walks like a duck, it's a duck.  It is time for us to start applying that saying to education.  Despite our desperate attempts to keep our vestiges of normalcy, clearly, we are not living in normal times.  Across the world education is returning to "normal" after months of "quarantine teaching". Students and teachers are returning to schools in socially distant settings, virtual settings, hybrid settings, and everything in between.   All of us can look back at what we knew twelve months ago as education and school.  While we can disagree about the quality, value, and design of education in the past, we all recognized what education looked like when we saw it.  We knew education when we heard it and when we were doing it.  It looked like a duck, it quacked like a duck, it was a duck. Since the onset of the pandemic we have desperately tried to find that

Skills, Communities, and the Future of Education

 Skills, Communities, and the Future of Education Right now is an incredible opportunity to make education better in places all around the world, and we are missing it in favor of trying desperately to hold onto the traditional school model in a virtual world. While kids are coming back to school buildings slowly and often to vastly different experiences, many. remain home learning through their screen.  In either case, the common thread is an adherence to what we know rather than what could be best for all of us.   There are rarely times when educators and education leaders aren't thinking of where our profession is leading into the future.  Frequent pendulum shifts, constant changes in programs, and now a massive shift in education due to the COVID19 pandemic have made many of us who work with kids start to evaluate what is really important.  It has become apparent that things we traditionally valued in education are at the least, questionable.  What do kids need from us? What is

Changing Schools to Make Teaching More Sustainable

Changing Schools to Make Teaching More Sustainable Brian Costello, Owner HIVEXR Schools have been drastically changed.  While we continue to hang on to what we have known as school for a long time, we are still facing serious challenges.  Teaching virtually, teaching hybrid, teaching in a socially distanced in-person setting; all of these are vastly different than what many of us have worked on creating throughout our careers.  We are faced with intense challenges of redefining what we do as educators to help reach our kids in the most effective ways.  In doing so, however, we are left with dramatic difficulties in sustainability.   Teaching was already a draining profession that faced difficult rates of attrition.  With the additional responsibilities of completely shifting their understanding and style of teaching, combined with various increases in how tasks centered around planning, grading, and technology we have seen several major shifts.  One, teachers are both working more and

Creating Hacks for COVID19

  Creating Hacks for COVID19 With the current pandemic and social distancing still affecting our society and the way we use to conduct meetings, workshops, and events, many organizations were forced to look at other options and modes to carry out their day to day operations.  Zoom and video conferencing have become the norm in order to keep in touch and share ideas with each other.  The same applies to the UNESCO Center of Peace.  For the past 13 years, this organization has been providing enrichment opportunities for students all around the globe.  They have organized and have put together amazing face to face conferences and spread their mission globally.  When the pandemic hit us this year, just like many other organizations, they too were forced into a world of virtual learning and meetings in order to continue the organization's mission.  The thought of running a conference virtually can be an overwhelming and daunting idea to many not used to zoom and virtual meetings, the or