9 Ways That Corona Will Improve K-12 Education

Tim Cavey
Teachers on Fire Magazine
10 min readApr 19, 2020

Some of our emergency strategies look a lot like best practices.

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

In the time it takes to cough, COVID-19 flipped the entire K-12 education system on its head. Schools have undergone lightning transformations to move from contexts of brick and mortar to remote learning environments.

Once the dust has settled and the threat from this pandemic subsides, what will be the lasting impacts on education?

1. Improved responses to learning inequities.

In the remote learning environment, successful student participation often requires that they have their own devices, reliable wifi, suitable workspaces, and supportive parents.

Before the crisis, students possessing none of those requirements could attend school and actually survive. But once school buildings were shuttered, these students had no chance.

Moving forward, I think we’ll see schools, districts, and states change policies to mitigate these factors more aggressively. In some districts, this will look like a move to a 1:1 device policy for students. Some states will eventually pass laws to provide reliable wifi to every household. And some schools will strengthen partnerships with parents amid efforts to better support the home learning environments.

We always knew there were tremendous inequities in our education systems, but this crisis has exposed them on a whole new level. Schools, districts, and state bodies will respond.

2. Increased attention to the social-emotional needs of learners.

Social-emotional learning was already a big point of conversation in education before the COVID-19 crisis. Now, with weeks of social distancing and emotional trauma upon us, it’s enormous.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a 36-country body of which the United States and Canada are a part, has identified 7 Universal Principles of Learning. My favorite principle has to be the third: “Emotions are the Gatekeepers of Learning.”

People have the capacity to learn when they feel happy, content, and safe. As we often hear in edu-Twitter, it’s Maslow before Bloom.

Tim Cavey
Teachers on Fire Magazine

Elementary Vice Principal and Teacher. Education YouTuber at Teachers on Fire. Big believer in Growth Mindset. EdTech should promote the 5 Cs. MEdL.