Updated Jul 15, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on the future of education

On Thursday, July 15, Axios business reporter Erica Pandey unpacked how technology is transforming classrooms — from the way students learn to how educators incorporate digital tools for remote learning, featuring Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) and Khan Academy founder and CEO Sal Khan.

Rep. Houlahan discussed learning loss following the pandemic, the role of virtual learning, and the broader impacts of disrupted education around the world.

  • On virtual learning: "I don't think in the immediate future we should see a world where everything is virtual...But I do think we need a world where should we be in a position where another shock to our system happens that we have access to technologies equitably."
  • Why education is a foreign policy issue: "If you have a whole part of the world that has lost significant ground and is significantly disadvantaged, as I believe will be the case, then you have destabilization. You have economies that are unsettled. Understanding how that learning loss affects not just us in our communities and country, but also across the globe is really important."

Sal Khan highlighted the impact of digital inequities on education, and how the pandemic has accelerated discussions around internet and technology access for students.

  • On accelerating the conversation around the digital divide: "Over the last 10 years, we saw a lot of progress in the classroom setting of closing the digital divide. But then the pandemic put a big spotlight on the at-home setting. It's been unfortunate because I think it did exacerbate inequality."
  • On leverage technology in and outside of classrooms: "I think the physical environment is always going to be central...But the best is when you can leverage the best of both worlds. Let's see where technology can be valuable and not just for technology's sake but in service. To what pedagogical goals can we give access to certain coursework that a classroom might not have? Can we provide new ways of explaining things?"

Axios Vice President of Growth Mia Vallo hosted a View from the Top segment with Director of Education Product Partnerships at Facebook, Dr. Adam Seldow, who discussed challenges faced by educators during the pandemic and the digital tools developed to help facilitate their work.

  • "Educators were and still are in many ways deeply affected by the pandemic. Imagine spending the bulk of your career teaching in a traditional classroom [and] then all of a sudden attempting to do this from your living room..It's an immediate reality for educators across the globe. And in these challenging times, we need our community, we need resources and in some cases a whole new set of tools."

Thank you Facebook for sponsoring this event.

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