Graduation on Line

Last weekend we watched Scott, Jessica’s boyfriend, graduate from his masters program at Columbia University. All graduates this year were certainly not able to experience the pomp and circumstance that we have all been accustomed to.

The bright side was the intimacy of the event. He didn’t have to find himself scrambling through the many people to connect with from his professors to thank them or make multiple friend introductions to his family. It was all about the graduates.

Education has limped along getting into the world of technology. Some have adapted and figured out how to integrate technology into the classroom while others have just maintained status quo. Covid-19 has forced everyone to get with the program in order to finish out the semesters from 1st grade to high school juniors to medical school.

What will education look like in 5 years? How will curriculums be changed with technology? Will it be better for all students because they can be engaged at different learning levels? Kids who can’t sit still in the classroom might find themselves better equipped to excel with technology. The few kids in the classroom who can learn at a high level might be able to excel even more and the kids who have a hard time with certain concepts might be more engaged. Perhaps educators and students can all be part of the same class with more ease.

Human connections, having to work with others, socialization, and all the other important aspects of education take place in physical spaces. How do we begin to use those physical spaces in different ways to get those needs but learn without having to sit in a classic school setting. I would gather that these are the questions taking place in every city as they certainly are in NYC.

It was fun to hear graduation, see everyone’s names and quotes like a yearbook called out, seeing every face on Zoom afterwards with their parents, spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends and partners. What next year looks like is up for grabs.