There is an African proverb, “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” What defines us as social creatures is our ability to connect and communicate with other humans. In the past year, we have relied on both friends and strangers for new ways to cope and at times even thrive. Amid pandemics and polemics, we are trying to make sense of our new paradoxical world: finding opportunities for rest in unrest, seeking analog distractions from digital immersion, and looking for meaningful connections across the distances that separate us.
Virtual conferences and social media have helped us find solutions for both our homes and our classrooms – often one in the same. We have turned to Twitter, Facebook or YouTube to learn how to make candy chutes for safe Halloween treat distribution, or how to create bitmojis for interactive virtual classrooms. We are redefining how we teach, together. The #WIDAGlobal community has shared entirely new learning models: “hyflex” to connect remotely with a co-teacher and students in a physical classroom, or “concurrent hybrid” with students designated as Zoomies or Roomies sharing the learning, both together and apart. Students and families are trying to adapt to the new ways school is structured today, rearranging routines, meals and even furniture in the service of learning. But it’s not easy: none of this happens overnight, and none of it happens in isolation.
WIDA also believes that we can go far together – by responding, innovating and providing thought leadership. We have redesigned the International Secure Portal for our global member schools. Our social media team has developed new ways to create, curate and share valuable resources for teachers around the world. The 2020 edition of the WIDA Standards will offer a vision for more equitable and interconnected classrooms. These powerful new tools provide a linguistic x-ray for teachers to “see the language in the learning” so multilingual learners can make meaning within the grade-level curriculum. The updated edition of the standards will be available before the end of the year and educators around the world are developing plans to implement them. And finally, the WIDA Virtual Institute will provide a self-paced platform for teachers to engage in an immersive learning experience, in their own way and in their own time. Situated within a narrative framework, this Virtual Institute will embed the WIDA 2020 Standards within the daily work of collaborating to plan, teach and assess multilingual learners. Teachers will be able to pre-register soon for this learning opportunity.
Mantenha-se em contacto,
Jon Nordmeyer, WIDA International Programs Director
*Portuguese: stay in touch