The Regression of Virtual Education Into Chaos


One would think that with all of the forced innovation in the Covid year we just lived through might result in a an approach to education that would be transformative and progressive, but instead we’ve got a situation in which education delivered via virtual delivery vehicles like Zoom have all but locked down regressive pedagogical strategies.  Since lecture is the easiest, most industrialized form of education, requiring the least amount of effort from instructors and most amount of effort from students, this was the primary pedagogical approach used via the pandemic to “teach” students.  Never mind, the reversion to correspondence-type education…the pack of work that goes out, is worked on independently and returned for grading.  That became a common practice as well.  So what potential improvements to education does the continued use of virtual delivery, the staging of educational interventions using virtual means…what does it have to offer?  This short blog will explore some areas of opportunity that shouldn’t be lost as the return to face-to-face teaching and learning in the fall.  This goes for K-12 and higher education and has implications for corporate training as well.


Chaos in the Ed Domain

“Variation is the enemy of efficiency and effectiveness”

It’s an old saw, but a true one.  When everyone executes a common process in a different way expecting the same result, it eliminates the possibility of in common terminology, processes and robust collaboration.  After a year of desperate improvisation trying to figure out what to do when sheltering at home to avoid infection and using Zoom like tools and packet sending asynchronous learning approaches, everybody’s the expert and thinks they know how to “get it right”.  Here in North Carolina, numerous school districts have set up Centers of Excellence for distance Learning.  They can’t ALL be excellent and what standards are being used to judge whether excellence has been achieved.  Satisfaction? Ha!  Amount learned?  Ludicrous!  Teachers who are happy with the medium and know how to use it effectively?  Ridiculous!  What about school entities that have built out a learning ecosystem that supports course, content and learning management?  Well, yes, if you already were an affluent school or forward looking universities that had the people, technology and processes in place to support the enhancement of existing systems vs. trying to “start from scratch” and come up to speed at the speed of change.

So, the use of distance learning and synchronous modalities like Zoom is at an inflection point.  Every school district administrator now thinks that they are an expert, or at least want to portray themselves as such to their supervisors and higher ups.  Students and teachers are supposed to suffer the consequences without complaint, while parents, normally isolated from school policies and curriculum have a chance to actually observe what and how their children are supposed to be learning and as it turns out, are not happy with how things were done (policy) and what was focused on (curriculum) in ways that are more informed as schooling became transparent and gave them a perspective on what goes on which upset them.

Track the growth of home schooling over the next couple of years to really know and understand the impact of this new set of parental attitudes based on their unintentional close up look at how and about what their children are being educated.


Areas of Opportunity



Independence and self regulated learning

Behavioral tracking and Remediation

Motivating students and teachers with Authentic, Innovative Assessment via On Line Gamification


My next few blog posts will focus on each of the Areas of Opportunity listed above.

In the meantime, if you think I am too strongly articulating my position above, please let me know via Comments and Inquiries posted via this site.

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