COVID Transitions – MindWires Consulting

COVID Transitions – MindWires Consulting

Episode 20: A Retrospective Look Forward

December 21, 2020

In this episode, Phil Hill, Jeanette Wiseman, and Kevin Kelly look back at 2020, identifying lessons learned, and look forward to 2021. Are there positive developments to expect?


* Phil Hill* Jeanette Wiseman* Kevin Kelly


Phil: Welcome to the last COVID Transitions podcast episode of the year. It’s been a very interesting year for us and I have enjoyed exploring the podcast area and working with you two. I’m Phil Hill and I’m here with Kevin Kelly and Jeanette Wiseman.

I guess the good news for listeners of the podcast, thanks to the pandemic, there is going to be more in 2021. Turns out this is not just a 2020 subject. The bad news is this is going to go at least until 2021, not the podcast, but the pandemic that we need to worry about. It’s great to talk to you two. Are you guys looking forward to the holidays?

Kevin and Jeanette: Yes.

Phil: Good.

With the year end, I wanted to do not quite one of the typical blog post year-in-review top 10. We’re not going to do that. I think it would be worthwhile that if we take a look back [00:01:00] at the year 2020, Covid and how it’s affected primarily higher education, but also K-12, and what we think we’re going to be looking for in 2021. What should we expect? This is somewhat of a retrospective look ahead podcast episode.

Let me get started with the question of as we look back at the full year, all the data we’ve reviewed about learning, about how to adapt, about enrollment, everything that we’ve covered and looked at. Let’s start with this. What strikes you as the biggest negative impact of COVID-19 on education, in general? We’ll start out negative because the pandemic is negative. Jeanette, if you just have to look back and say what’s the most negative thing, impact of Covid, what would you say it is?

Jeanette: I would say that the leaving behind [00:02:00] of students of need, either from an economic standpoint, from students of color, any child that had any kind of learning disability or challenge were not really served at all during the Covid transition to online, or not served as well I think.

Phil: One thing I would add to that is it seems to be a little bit different between K-12 and higher ed. In K-12, we’re getting much more of a learning loss type of view. That even if they’re in school underrepresented groups are having learning loss. Whereas in higher ed, it’s not quite as clear. It almost seems to be as much enrollment or I can’t participate in class at all. I don’t know if there’s a precise way to do it, but it seems like it varies depending on which level the students are on, how big the impact is.

Kevin: I would say that’s only [00:03:00] because the K-12 environment does formal testing and regular intervals. That’s something that you can gauge that learning loss pretty easily, whereas higher ed needs to wait for the end of term grades to come in. In the next couple of weeks we will actually be able to tell. The research that I’m doing with different community colleges and universities, we are collecting that data for the same issue that Jeanette raised, is the one that I would pick that equity issues that have been amplified by the pandemic are the the biggest takeaway for 2020.

With the oxymoron that you presented, a retrospective look ahead, Phil, we really need to think about how do we address those more comprehensively. We’ve already got the Cal State system talking ab...