For many communities worldwide, September marks the beginning of the school year, usually a time of joy as students look forward to exploring new ideas and cultivating friendships. But as we all know, back to school this year looks very different. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe in mid-2020, a majority of countries announced the closure of schools, impacting more than 91% of students worldwide – around 1.5 billion children and young people at its peak. The disruption of learning and upending of lives impacts everyone, but especially families and children from the most vulnerable and marginalized communities.
Crisis also provides opportunity for innovation. Like it or not, real-time responses during and after COVID-19 can provide catalytic opportunities to take a collective leap forward towards providing more inclusive and equitable quality education for all children. The time also unearths challenges we need to overcome to ensure children, youth and adults can continue learning.
Learning to Overcome is a 3-part podcast series that features educators, innovators and entrepreneurial leaders who share their ideas and strategies to support our students’ learning and well-being through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Hosted by NPR veteran Gwen Tompkins and co-developed by Imaginable Futures and UNICEF, Learning to Overcome explores and highlights solutions and digital innovations that can help us all overcome this uniquely challenging time and look to how this might reshape the future of education.
New episodes will release each Monday from September 21 – October 5. Links to new episodes will be made available on this page each week and can be heard directly on:
Learning to Overcome includes conversations that focus on new approaches, what's worked or hasn't worked, and how the pandemic might reshape the education landscape. Featured guests include (pictured left to right below, in order of podcast appearance): Wendy Kopp, Teach For All; Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, Edo State Universal Basic Education; Sal Khan, Khan Academy; Iman Lipumba, Ubongo; Robert Jenkins, United Nations Children's Fund; and Leslee Udwin, Think Equal.
Educators, leaders, and parents globally have the responsibility of what seems like an impossible task: To replicate the functions of school for months without a physical classroom or playground. The importance of local leadership from educators as well as innovation around learning with a focus on equity is paramount. In this episode, we talk to two education leaders about their experience and ideas on how best to manage and ensure at-scale education response and recovery interventions.
Featured guests include:
Release Date: September 28
As learning across the world relies more and more on access to expensive devices and internet connectivity, the education divide deepens. Global, large-scale efforts to use technology in support of remote learning and distance education are emerging and evolving quickly. During COVID-19 and beyond, it is essential to leverage technology that will enable high quality, flexible learning pathways that place equity at its core. In this episode, we talk to two digital content innovators to hear what they are seeing, doing and predicting across the globe. They share their thoughts on how to facilitate these learning opportunities across borders, and what anytime and anyplace learning looks like.
Featured guests include:
Release Date: October 5
Students around the world are facing increased mental health challenges as they continue to deal with isolation related to the lack of structure, routine and connection to community, as well as the stress of the economic fallout of COVID-19 felt by households everywhere. While many educators are focusing on getting the academics right with online learning, equally important is social-emotional learning across all age groups. In this episode, we speak to two topic experts to discuss how we can support students’ mental well-being and nurture social emotional development during this global pandemic.
Our featured guests include: