Quality Teaching And Learning - Pandemic Proof

A teacher delivers a lesson at her SMART display with her mask on during the pandemic.

Leaders of schools from across North America met to discuss their challenges and strategies for ensuring quality learning and teaching during these days of hybrid and blended learning.

They convened in a Catalyst-style session in which participants worked in small groups to co-construct a shared output related to their challenges and strategies. Here we'll show you a high-level synthesis of their combined output. A more-detailed report will be released in the coming weeks.


Schools have adopted a variety of approaches:
  • Synchronous
    • Teaching in-person with some students then repeating the lesson for remote learners
    • Teaching in-person with some students in class with remote learners watching at the same time
  • Asynchronous
    • Students work at their own pace.
    • Hybrid
    • Teaching in-person with groups of students occasionally alternating between in-person and remote (synchronously/asynchronously)


  • Schools are overwhelmed with supporting the many access, connectivity, and other technological glitches that exist in their schools and student homes.
  • Leaders are overwhelmed with the number of companies contacting them with new product offerings and services.

Student Engagement 

  • Some educators find it difficult to be creative in these new learning models and to engage and maintain the interest of their learners.
  • Attendance issues or students “ghosting” requires parents to take a more active role at home.
  • Creating rich, meaningful experiences is critical:
    • Encouraging students to take more active roles during learning interactions
    • Taking advantage of pedagogy-driven technologies that promote active learning
    • Pre-packaged kits for hands-on learning
    • Providing opportunities for smaller group interaction
    • Giving students voice and choice in their assigned tasks


  • Educators struggle to build relationships and trust.
  • Students value multiple opportunities to engage with their peers.

Learning Made Visible

  • Multiple opportunities need to be created for teachers to gain an understanding of how students are progressing.
  • Platforms that provide teachers with insight into student learning is key.

Developing New Skills

  • Multiple opportunities and strategies to support teachers, parents, and learners as they navigate new technologies and platforms
  • Importance of instilling confidence in educators’ instruction strategies so they truly know “they’ve got this!”
  • Professional learning for teachers to address “how to” but also “why to” – pedagogy-informed use.
  • “Technology is a tool, people make connections”
  • Opportunity to develop new skills in learners