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Virtual Learning Response Fund | May 20, 2020

Virtual Convening: Supporting Schools Amidst the Coronavirus Shutdown

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With over 500 participants from all corners of the business community, the discussion explored the impact of COVID-19 upon the education system. In the coming few weeks our speakers will be featured in a blog series expounding upon yesterday’s discussion, which we will be sure to share out. In the meantime, three key takeaways:

  1. School ecosystems need to evolve to reflect today’s rapidly changing environment. As we heard from Microsoft’s General Manager of Education, Dan Ayoub, school districts across the nation are at various points on the continuum of preparedness to shift their entire educational ecosystem to digital platforms. In the midst of a crisis, supporting districts in the identification of the right ‘next priorities’ and providing the requisite resources is essential if, as a country, we are going to make this comprehensive shift. Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho made it clear – it will take a multi-stakeholder model to address this in enough time to prevent deepening achievement and engagement gaps.
  2. Teachers need scalable support to ensure the continuation of student learning in a virtual world. We heard from Pete Weir, Discovery Education’s Chief Product Officer, about how to best support educators in their professional development as they work to effectively implement new virtual teaching strategies, tools and resources. Collaboration between education and technology leaders can help ease the virtual learning curve, while empowering educators with the supports they need to engage their students and keep them on the path towards college and career.
  3. The time for partnerships with the business community is now. It is imperative that the private sector contribute to the development and deployment of scalable solutions that deliver meaningful support to our nation’s teachers and students. These are the young people who will fill the pipeline of potential candidates to join our companies on day.

View the full discussion below.

Thank you again to everyone who joined us for this virtual convening. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact