I read with interest this morning the challenges faced by the major streaming providers given that most, if not all, production facilities are closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. That means that the next opportunity to hunker down and “binge watch” may be delayed. So, go back and enjoy all of the West Wing seasons, amazing how the issues then are still present today in our body politic.
Content is king for these services and after a number of discussions over the last week or so with parents getting their first experience with “home schooling”, I strongly believe that the next major “battle ground” opportunity for content is not movies but innovative Distance Learning curriculum. Public, Private and Parochial teachers are under pressure to deliver, and in a lot of cases they are soldiers who may have been given challenging missions, but they have few resources to attain their goals. Content is lacking and all of the above appear to be struggling to some degree to deliver.
Admittedly there are challenges around the technology platforms available to teachers…our local public school system is in need of a large number of Chromebooks to enable students to access educational content, not to mention the digital disparity that leaves many in certain parts of town on an island with no internet access. AT&T, Verizon, & Sprint please take note of this need…mobile hotspots are a great way to introduce your service capabilities to many of your “future customers”. While you’re at it, see what you can do about the 10,000 Chromebooks because I’d love to call the CTO and tell him there is a solution available.
Now back to my “content” comment. Amazing teachers are using their imaginations and various technology platforms (thank you Google Classroom) to keep students engaged and learning. Unfortunately, the deliverables vary greatly from school to school and across the spectrum of Public, Private and Parochial. So how do we fix this because if the epidemiologists are right and Covid-19 abates during the summer months and then comes roaring back next Fall and Winter, the problem will still exist and so will home schooling.
In a conversation this morning with a parent of three children, a 7th-grader, a 5th-grader and a pre-schooler, the level of content was such that the 7th-grader has been sitting in on the 5th-graders classes due to the innovative, imaginative content delivery being utilized. Note that the two children are in different schools and different systems with varied resource availability.
I don’t know if there is an “Educational Content Exchange” available to teachers, but if not then there needs to be one established. If availability of technology is the challenge then email me at email@example.com because our company may have some idle resources that we can make available. Let’s also see what can be done to get the various educational entities above collaborating. For instance, if JCPS has a great Distance Learning Math program, then let’s get the Private and Parochial teachers talking to them to see how technology can be leveraged to deliver it to all students. Conversely, if Private and Parochial have some great content lets leverage it too.
To this end, Tier3 Technologies is reaching out to the various systems mentioned above to see how we can assist. One idea is a future online workshop on “Delivering Excellence In Distance Learning”. I’ve reached out to an old friend from a former life who developed programs for the likes of AT&T and the U.S. Army. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know if there is interest and, if so, when we can schedule something. No charge of course, it’s an investment in our future.
Our focus needs to be the kids, the students, our future.
As always, make it a great day.
Chairman & CTO, Tier3 Technologies