UCLA Ed&IS ADDRESSES THE CHALLENGES OF THE
COVID-19 CRISIS Our faculty have been at the forefront of working with local, state and national education officials throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Our work centers on helping the most disenfranchised student populations in our state. UCLA Distinguished Professor of Education Pedro Noguera and Tyrone Howard, professor of education, UCLA Pritzker Family Endowed Chair in Education and Director, Black Male Institute, are serving as experts to policy and education leaders in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are working with policymakers around the effects of nationwide school closures and the impact of the loss of access to education and wraparound services, which proves an expensive lesson to communities, local and state governments. Dr. Sarah Roberts, assistant professor of Information Studies, and Dr. Safiya Noble, associate professor at UCLA in the departments of Information Studies and African American Studies, are serving as experts for issues around technology and society during the COVID-19 crisis. Dr. Roberts recently wrote an op-ed for Slate pointing out “the shortcomings of replacing human workforce with artificial intelligence in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.” Dr. Noble has been in the news supporting the importance of safe educational spaces to foster a learning environment. Dr. John Rogers, professor of Education and director of IDEA, is studying the effects on K–12 students’ ability to navigate and succeed in the pandemic’s remote learning environment.
The UCLA Department of Information Studies COVID-19 Emergent Information Needs Initiative—Leaders in the UCLA Department of Information Studies are developing a digital initiative to address the emergent information needs of a public now working, learning, and connecting almost exclusively online and from home. 4 UCLA Ed&IS SPRING 2020
Center X, the home of UCLA’s Teacher Education Programs, is at the forefront of working with teachers and institutions on remote learning strategies, struggles and solutions. Home to multiple state-level projects that focus on instructing and supporting public school teachers, whose professional development programs now need to be reorganized to go online, many of these projects are also revising their resources for parents hungry for tips and for reassurance, which may be in greater demand.
Our alumni are uniquely positioned to support students in need. As highlighted in the Los Angeles Times, Keara Williams, 2017 Teacher Education Program (TEP) alumna, who teaches at Hawkins High School in the VermontSlauson neighborhood of South Los Angeles, has overcome her students’ lack of participation. The AP English teacher has taken the extra steps to reach out to her students one by one to get them back on track and assure them they would not be penalized for missing out on remote learning due to the digital divide or familial responsibilities.