On this solo episode of Tackling Tech Podcast, powered by DyKnow, Brett McGrath shares the top five takeaways he’s learned while interviewing K-12 educators and professionals. As a marketer at Dyknow, it’s crucial to understand how schools will adopt more progressive learning styles. Brett also reflects on his own K-12 experience and the teacher that made the biggest impression.

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5 Takeaways for Back to School

It has been almost 5 months since Dyknow’s Tackling Tech Podcast was launched, and during this time Brett McGrath has had many conversations with educators from across the country about collaboration, remote learning, and technology integration in K-12 education. 

With back to school approaching, Brett reflects on these conversations and the top 5 takeaways he has for educators as they prepare to go back to school for Fall 2020. 

1. Adaptability

The first takeaway for back to school 2020 is the ability to adapt. In conversations with K-12 educators it has become apparent that given the current state of remote learning, adaptability is a crucial skill for educators to possess. Whether it is adapting to new learning settings or getting used to using technology, adaptability is going to be critical for educators to have a successful back to school season come Fall.

While talking about adaptability, Brett reflected on his conversation with Eric Guise, sharing Eric’s sentiment that during this time it is crucial to help “tech uncomfortable” teachers become more comfortable and confident using technology. Brett explained that there are undeniable changes happening all around us both in the education world and in general. He advised educators to take a step back and try not to let these changes affect you more than they should. Adopting a mindset of adaptability will help educators transition back to school in Fall 2020.

2. Progressive Learning

Brett’s second takeaway for back to school is that progressive learning will shine through this back to school season. He observed that almost every conversation on Tackling Tech has included some information on progressive learning and how these styles affect K-12 education moving forward.

With so many styles of progressive learning (blended, remote, STEM, flipped, etc.) it is inevitable that these learning styles will drive instruction when educators go back to school in the Fall. In order to make progressive learning styles possible in the classroom, technology serves as the backbone of this instruction, and that is something that will not go away anytime soon. 

3. Personalized Learning

Conversations with Marcia Tate and Kyle Niemis on Tackling Tech led to the topic of personalized learning. One thing that stuck with Brett from these conversations was the notion that the lessons we probably remember most and the teachers who we remember most from school are the ones who used personalized learning.

Personalization (speaking to an audience of 1) is so important in education but also important in our everyday lives, so it is no surprise that personalized instruction is most often the most effective instruction. Personalized learning is sure to shine through this back to school season with remote learning and transitioning back to hybrid or in-person settings.

4. Building Professional Learning Communities

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) have become one of the most important topics of conversation during this time of remote learning due to the need for and accessibility of connecting with people remotely. The power of PLCs will only continue to grow as educators go back to school in the Fall. Scott Nunes and Bruce Reicher talked a lot about the power of Professional Learning Communities in their respective episodes on Tackling Tech.

Brett emphasized that the best part about building PLCs during this time is that it can be done through any channel! Social media channels are some of the best ways to grow a global PLC. His biggest piece of advice for building PLCs while going back to school it to be proactive – be on offense and reach out to people to connect and build that strong community.

5. Communication

Communication is the cornerstone of all good outcomes whether going back to school remote, hybrid, or in-person. Brett encourages everyone to think diligently about communication and consider your communication strengths and shortcomings when going back to school this Fall.

Communication was the central theme when the Tackling Tech podcast was started, so having communication as the fifth takeaway is very fitting. The podcast built on the foundation that in order to have success in K-12 education, cross-functional collaboration must exist and be supported by communication.

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