During the past few months, we have all been affected by the measures put in place in response to Covid-19.
As I was reorganizing my professional life, I spent a lot of time observing how my teenage daughter was adapting to the lockdown and to the new dynamics that had a huge impact on her education and her relationships. I was afraid she could not finish her school program and I was also worried about how she would cope with being unable to spend time with her friends.
Despite all my fears, one of the things that struck me the most was the strength of her friendships, even though she was only able to “see” her friends online. I realised how deep a relationship can be (at an age where sociability is crucial) even if maintained exclusively through digital devices. My daughter and her friends proved to be extremely resilient and able to adapt to change, by finding new ways of sharing interests and moments in their life.
On the other hand, school was the aspect of her life that suffered the most. Regardless of the different level of expertise of her teachers in the use of digital platforms, what my daughter’s experience showed me is that the Italian school system was caught completely unprepared (both in terms of knowledge and infrastructures) and incapable of putting in place a widespread, educational and social use of technology. Covid-19 forced our school system to react quickly and find temporary solutions, but I think that this emergency could be a great opportunity for us to rethink the use of technology in schools.
Modern technology should not simply allow us to attend a class remotely using a computer, it should also be a useful tool to assist teachers and students in their journey, to help them familiarise themselves with the use of services and platforms in a conscious and active way, thus contributing to the education of a society that is aware of the value and potential of accessible, sustainable and inclusive technology.