With school years suspended, possibly for the duration of the pandemic, academic regimentation dictated by age, test scores and past accomplishment disappears. This is good news, folks!
Families suddenly are left in a homebound world of what could be infinite learning possibilities regardless of a child’s school status. Developing the habit of unstructured, fulfilling lifelong learning suddenly becomes a reachable goal for children and adults.
The negatives of this pandemic are astounding and not to be dismissed. However, one of the positives is that the suspension of our regular routines have left us with the magical, irreplaceable abundance of time—free time—for exploration and discovery. We’re talking complete freedom to engage in hobbies, enthusiasms, passions all day long if so desired.
With the gift of unstructured time, each of us can consider the broad possibilities for physical, cognitive, and cultural growth that can focus and redefine our lives.
Information about pretty much anything is available to everyone 24/7/365, IF we have the time, a digital device (e.g., smart phone, tablet, computer) and an Internet connection. These resources are exactly what so many households now have.
Not all, but an increasing majority of us, through the Internet, have access to infinite sources of personal learning satisfaction and connection. The COVID-19 pandemic that has sent us all scurrying indoors (I hope) also has dropped into our collective laps unparalleled amounts of time to learn just about anything we ever dreamed of. And this has happened just when technology offers fast and convenient access to the wonders of life and the world. Resources for learning, regardless of the learner’s age, are available at the touch of a finger.
Yes, adults would like to get back to work, and children would love to see their friends and teachers, but at least for the next few weeks (or months? Yikes!), the possibility of self-expressed, learning can happen daily, regardless of attainments in formal education.
Many school districts have taken this once-in-a-lifetime (we hope) event as a cue to put digital devices in every home. They’re developing alternate ways for remote access to standard schooling. They’re using this as an opportunity to connect students to virtual demonstrations and to experts in fields of study for online mentoring. They’re inviting kids of all ages to discover, explore and express themselves through personal inquiries into the dazzling mysteries of our world.
It’s about time.