It's a Virtual World: Reimagining the Possibilities and Potential for Virtual Learning

The 2020 - 2021 school year is well underway for students across the country...and it's a school year like no other. Many schools and school districts have elected to start the new year with either all-virtual learning or a hybrid of in-person and virtual instruction. As of this writing, it's uncertain how long this "great experiment in education" will last. However, it's safe to say that virtual learning, in one form or another, is here to stay for the near future.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools around the world to rethink what learning looks like. When schools closed in the U.S. in March, educators scrambled to duct tape together virtual learning plans for their students. Many lessons were learned. There were plenty of "aha" moments, too, leading to innovations in learning and communication. Although we've come a long way, questions and concerns remain as we reopen schools this fall, especially when it comes to equity and access to technology and related supports. How can we make virtual learning work in a sustainable, equitable way?
 
This past month, GreenNotes featured articles that explore how educators are innovating and adapting to create accessible, meaningful, and authentic virtual learning experiences for their students. From math and social studies to place-based education, this month's authors shared best practices and tools they've used to adapt curriculum for virtual learning. Equity is also addressed in an article that covers the big decisions being made by school leaders and the steps they need to take to ensure students have equitable access to learning.
 
Virtual learning will never replace face-to-face instruction. However, it does open the door to innovation and experiences that wouldn't be possible in a traditional classroom setting. It's time to embrace the opportunity and see where it takes us, and education more broadly, in the years to come.
Feature Articles


Project-Based Learning Can Make Remote Learning More Meaningful


Merging Math and Project-Based Learning in a Virtual Classroom




Reimagining the Potential for Virtual Learning: Lessons Learned from a Place-Based, Experiential High School Program




The Fundamental Importance of Integrating Equity into Sustainability Curriculum


Adaptation in the Time of COVID-19: Making Big Decisions to Ensure Equitable Access to Virtual Learning


Of Pivoting and Plastic

Reprinted with permission from Green Teacher magazine.

STUDENT VOICE

Tackling Food Waste and Food Insecurity During a Pandemic: A Student-Led Approach to a Community Food Crisis
Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly

COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our lives. It also offers an unprecedented opportunity to rethink K- 12 education. In this special issue of the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly, we explore the vital role that green, healthy, and sustainable schools will play in a COVID-19 world and why education for sustainability is an investment in the future of education.



How students get to and from school matters. Whether taking the big yellow bus, riding a bike, or walking to school, these choices have impacts on student health, the environment, and a school's carbon footprint. In the Summer 2020 Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly, learn how Safe Routes to School programs and innovations in school transportation systems are changing the way we think about the daily commute to school. 

Read both issues on GSNN's website or via the app available at iTunesGoogle Play, and Amazon

Learn with Green Schools National Network
GSNN and Shaw Contract to Host a Joint Webinar: The School Campus as a 3-D Textbook for Sustainability Education

Join GSNN and Shaw Contract on Tuesday, October 20 at noon EST as Jennifer Seydel hosts a panel of educators from Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS). The panel will provide an overview of how policy and practice, informed by sustainability, informs a vision at VBCPS that shapes day-to-day decision-making related to the built environment as well as what and how students learn.
 
The panel includes:
  • Aaron Spence, Ed.D., Superintendent
  • Tim Cole, Sustainability Officer
  • Kelly Hedrick, Ed.D., Principal of Old Donation School
  • Chris Freeman, Coordinator, Environmental Studies Program at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Brock Environmental Center
Green Schools National Network | info@greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org