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Daily Trojan | Education (Re) Open to the implementation of educational solutions

By on April 28, 2021 0
Education (Re) Open aims to address issues in local K-12 public schools by offering solutions for implementation next fall. (Charles McCollum | Daily Trojan Horse)

As schools prepare to return to normal, USC Rossier’s EDGE Center has created a platform to harness innovative solutions in education and prevent further inequalities in the sector.

To address education system failures exacerbated by the pandemic, USC Rossier’s Center Edge launched Education (Re) Open – a four-phase program that seeks to implement community-derived educational solutions – in late March. In its first phase, the solution phase, Education (Re) Open seeks to highlight innovative solutions through a competition format and provide local schools with ideas to implement upon a full return.

“The idea is to have innovative solutions that people can implement in their specific ecosystem in their particular areas of study,” said Alan Arkatov, founding director of USC’s EDGE center and leader in the field. of Education (Re) Open.

Education (Re) Open is an opportunity to strengthen communities and improve well-being with the return to e-learning, said Arkatov. The program particularly seeks solutions to improve the Los Angeles community, particularly in K-12 schools. For 10 weeks, Education (Re) Open invites and presents solutions from all those facing the challenges facing school communities during the pandemic.

Not only is the competition largely focused on providing a platform of solutions, but it also seeks to implement the ideas submitted.

“We are at the epicenter of the economy of the imagination here in [Los Angeles]Said Arkatov. “We all have these talents, and we don’t harness them for education, so it’s our mission in this area: to engage so many people with innovative solutions, then put them into action.”

Over one hundred grand prizes valued at $ 1,000 will be awarded to the winning solutions in the contest. Following the selection process, Education (Re) Open will unveil “Solution Exchange,” a website for parents, teachers and students to access solutions and implement ideas in their own environment.

“We’re going to have other schools across the country to push this to their students,” Arkatov said. “We push [the competition] among community organizations, educational organizations, large and small groups. It could be groups of parents, groups of teachers, groups of educators, all of that. “

The competition format will also attempt to showcase solutions that have been implemented in schools but have not been widely scaled up or innovative new solutions that have emerged in the last year of the pandemic, according to Arkatov, founding director of USC’s EDGE Center.

Arkatov expects the solutions submitted to cover a range of topics – including racial and financial inequalities, lack of resources, and schedule changes – particularly given the three broad categories, including reconnecting communities, collaborative teaching / learning / leadership and collective health / well-being.

The pandemic itself and the need to change education for a full return to in-person learning has created the perfect time to compete, said Alan Arkatov.

“I think we are at this inflection point in the history of education and it is a unique moment in time where we can really take best practices and be able to bring them to light,” said said Arkatov.

The submission process for Education (Re) Open is straightforward and open to anyone passionate about redefining education, regardless of location, according to Arkatov.

“I really can’t wait to know that we are giving to those who know the best about education – students, educators, parents – we are giving them a voice so that they can actually see the change that they always wanted to be right. thing, ”he said.

Arkatov said the means to find suggestions for returning to teaching in-person relies on crowdsourced educational solutions for the people who know her best – parents, students and educators.

“It’s just not the way education was done in the past,” Arkatov said. “Not to say that everything was wrong or everything was great, but there are some amazing innovative solutions that have not been put into practice.”

After the submission deadline, an evaluation phase, solution exchange and an implementation phase will take place, Arkatov said. There is a series of schools in Los Angeles County that are committed to not only submitting ideas, but also implementing them. However, the implementation phase has yet to be designed until solutions are chosen.

Arkatov said he believes there has never been a program similar to Education (Re) Open due to border and school district barriers, especially due to different educational rules and standards exist across the United States. Even within states, there are unique districts, totaling over 13,000 school districts nationwide. It is these challenges that have shown that Education (Re) Open would need funding to be successful.

Andrew Nikou, former USC and founder of the Andrew Nikou Foundation, has agreed to fund Education (Re) Open. The Andrew Nikou Foundation is a foundation that breaks traditional silos of work by joining together and investing in scalable solutions and ideas that can improve the lives of disconnected and oppressed people.

“The most urgent need has become, how can we help the real pioneers of this challenge that has been the last 13 months – the educators, the reluctant students, the parents who have become an educator overnight,” said Jules Ho, Managing Director of the Andrew Nikou Foundation.

Ho said the foundation finds it important to support and fund the Education (Re) Open program, especially during the challenges of the pandemic, with multigenerational challenges, and the need to prevent further peaks of coronavirus.

“All [the mentioned challenges] the dynamics speak of a broader social purpose of this era, “Ho said.” There is a need to support this, we believe, Andrew personally believe, that education is the key, if not all, almost everything. The concept of how the pandemic eroded, or rather exacerbated, failures, the dark corners of that picture, and the notion that there are students who are even more left behind and out of touch was something we were all about. fully aware.

Antwane Abraham, a junior at USC Hybrid High School, works with Education (Re) Open as part of his school and provides information and ideas on the reopening in the fall. Abraham said he personally struggled to learn during online school and hoped to help make the environment a more diverse and equitable space.

“I believe Education (Re) Open is going to have an incredible impact on students as more students will be able to learn and work with teachers and this will also help students’ mental health as they will be able to socialize with others. . and not just through a screen, ”Abraham said in an email to Daily Trojan Horse.

For Ho, she sees solutions derived from submissions as a way to improve lives and empower oppressed demographic groups.

“We are looking to partner with people who have big ideas and big aspirations to create lasting, scalable and positive change in our community,” Ho said. “We seek to empower individuals in our community and the community. society as a whole that would otherwise be left behind, oppressed or disconnected. ”