Headshot Young Girl

Lauren Arkley

VIA21

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Challenge

My challenge in education today is digital sustainability and growth post COVID-19 pandemic. During the past 18 months, schools have embraced technology due to it being the only mechanism available to facilitate remote and flexible learning. Educators who had previously been disinterested in using digital technologies had to quickly upskill themselves by attending professional learning to use tools such as Google Classroom to deliver learning and teaching programs and Meet to facilitate virtual assemblies. Despite this being a challenging time, I got to see amazing online learning and teaching moments and was lucky to showcase these across the State. Over a year since our first lockdown, we are continuously shifting in and out of remote learning. In Victoria, we now refer to it as ‘remote and flexible learning’ as it is becoming clear that there may be a need for flexibility on an ongoing basis. Many educators are fatigued by continuous change and the number of educators attending virtual professional learning has declined. When schools returned to face-to-face learning between lockdowns, digital technologies teachers reported that when educators returned to school, many stopped using digital technologies and reverted to previous classroom practice, for example, worksheets/textbooks. This then made the return to remote and flexible learning a challenge as they had to pivot their learning and teaching programs again. My challenge is that now we have lots of educators on board and using digital technologies during remote learning, how do we ensure this is sustained when/if we return to the classroom and how do we support and engage educators in continuing to grow their digital skills.