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COVID-19: NY Working With Gates Foundation To Imagine Education In The 'New Normal'

New York State will be working with the Gates Foundation to re-imagine education in the "new normal." Photo Credit: ny.gov
New York State will be working with the Gates Foundation to re-imagine education in the "new normal." Photo Credit: ny.gov

When New York schools reopen following the end of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, education could have a new look, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo said that moving forward, the state will be collaborating with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a “blueprint to reimagine education in the ‘new normal.’”

“We’ve all been talking about education a lot, and we’ve seen what can be done with this new model, so we’re exploring what we can do with different technology,” Cuomo said. “We’ve seen technology where there are students on Long Island talking to a teacher on Staten Island and other students around the world all at once.

“So let's learn from that, and learn from this experience We’ve done a lot of remote learning. We weren’t prepared for it, but we’ve seen what we have to do.”

As New York begins to develop plans to reopen K-12 schools and colleges, the state and the Gates Foundation will consider what education should look like in the future. 

They’ve enlisted education experts to answer various questions about using technology in education in the future, and more ways to collaborate.

Questions to be asked, according to Cuomo, include:

  • How can we use technology to provide more opportunities to students no matter where they are;
  • How can we provide shared education among schools and colleges using technology;
  • How can technology reduce educational inequality, including English as a new language students;
  • How can we use technology to meet the educational needs of students with disabilities;
  • How can we provide educators more tools to use technology;
  • How can technology break down barriers to K-12 and Colleges and Universities to provide greater access to high-quality education no matter where the student lives; and
  • Given ongoing socially distancing rules, how can we deploy classroom technology, like immersive cloud virtual classroom learning, to recreate larger class or lecture hall environments in different locations?

"The last few months have been an incredibly stressful time full of change, but we have to learn and grow from this situation and make sure we build our systems back better than they were before," Cuomo said. "One of the areas we can really learn from is education because the old model of our education system where everyone sits in a classroom is not going to work in the new normal.

“When we do reopen our schools let's reimagine them for the future, and to do that we are collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and exploring smart, innovative education alternatives using all the new technology we have at our disposal."

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