There are numerous innovations that Eastern Greene has implemented recently. Nevertheless, this paper is centered on its efforts to provide the students with proper classes and feedback from teachers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The district came up with new methods of learning the students using information technologies, and that is the complex innovation that is analyzed in this work. The innovation is worth being observed, as Eastern Greene managed to help students to continue their learning process despite multiple issues that arose due to the pandemic.
Eastern Greene has made a decision to divide the ways the schools can provide the students with the learning experience and instructions into four main categories: Remote Learning, Virtual Learning, E-learning, and Hybrid Learning. All four options guarantee a high-quality attitude to the studies and ensure students’ great performance. However, currently, it is vital to allow parents to assess the risks that their children and their family as a whole may be exposed to and to have a range of options to choose from. Moreover, the district successfully introduced a new type of communication by utilizing several online platforms and enhanced the learning experience for special student populations and those who do not possess the devices needed or reliable Internet connection.
According to Glickman, there are five major stages of implementation of an innovation: readiness, installation, initiation, full operation, and continuation and renewal. The innovation utilized by Eastern Greene can be analyzed with the help of this approach. In the beginning, the introduction of the innovation seemed, admittedly, hectic, as the reason for the drastic transition was completely unexpected and rather terrifying for various population groups. However, the district received all the necessary recommendations from state and regional agencies via Zoom meetings and managed to provide the schools with all the equipment needed to promote remote learning in a timely manner.
The installation stage was performed perfectly, as the teachers who managed to successfully apply the innovation and the use of all the technologies it implied, managed to find the time to help their colleagues to enhance their skills. Currently, the use of innovation is in full swing, and most teachers have the proficiency level, which allows them to propose their own innovative ways of interacting with students online and keeping them motivated. Teachers from various schools managed to find the means to communicate and discuss the best ways of providing students with a unique school atmosphere while studying remotely. What is more, the district developed paper packets for students who cannot use the Internet and found the proper means to safely gather students’ work results.
The innovation will continue to be implemented in the coming months. The experts of McKinsey & Company predict that the epidemiological endpoint looks most likely to be reached in the second half of 2021 (Charumilind et al., 2020). The continued implementation is possible due to the constant renewal of the technologies used. Moreover, the district independently analyses feedback and compares the results of the innovation implementation for various categories of students to ensure that every student is provided with the same high-quality education as prior to the pandemic.
It is hard to provide a classified readiness review under the horrific circumstances of this year. Nevertheless, Eastern Greene managed to mobilize its sources to establish new groups and communication patterns that helped create the tools needed to provide the students with all the necessary instructions and feedback online. The E-learning plans were created with the help of input from the teacher leadership team. Moreover, the district used CARES Act money and GEER Grant money to purchase 1,100 Chromebooks and 235 hotspots to prepare for COVID-19 closures and E-learning. Some money from a GEER grant will also be utilized to provide PD for teachers on virtual teaching (T.Provo, personal communication). Despite the successful outcome, the district is going to spare extra resources to prepare for future challenges, which may even accelerate current changes in education.
Charumilind, S., Craven, M., Lamb, J., Sabow, A., & Wilson, M. (2020). When will the COVID-19 pandemic end? McKinsey & Company. Web.
Glickman, C. D., Gordon, S. P., & Ross-Gordon, J. M. (2017). SuperVision and instructional leadership: A developmental approach. Pearson Education.