Lesson Plan: How might the coronavirus pandemic permanently change education?

Educational Trends during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rand Corporation senior policy researcher Julia Kaufman discussed her recent study about how the pandemic is impacting both teaching and learning in America’s elementary and secondary schools.


This lesson looks at the shifts in education that have occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and how the pandemic might permanently change schools and learning. Using video clips from experts and their own experiences, students will make predictions about what K-12 education might look like in the future.


  • SET-UP:

    This lesson offers several options for you to use with your students whether you are teaching in class, using a hybrid model, or engaging through distance learning. It can be completed in steps as a class or independently by students.

    Each activity, video and handout included in the lesson can be linked to an online discussion board or learning management system. You can also save and share the following Google handout for students to use with this lesson.

    Handout: Education after COVID-19 (Google Doc)

    By making a copy of this Google Doc, you can adjust the instructions to meet the needs of your class and provide that copy to your students. Your students can also make a copy and complete the assignments digitally in the space provided.

  • WARM-UP:

    To begin class, have the students brainstorm answers to the following questions. They can reflect upon these questions using the chart on the handout.

    Handout: Education after COVID-19 (Google Doc)

    • How has COVID-19 changed how you have learned and attended school?

    • What changes have you liked?

    • What changes have you disliked?

    Discuss the students’ answers as a class and reflect on the changes that have occurred since March 2020.

    Introduce the following video clip to have students think about the nationwide trends in education. As they view the video, have them answer each question.

    Video Clip 1: Educational Trends during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the 2020-2021 School Year (5:15)

    • Describe the educational trends that this study found.

    • What changes and innovations occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    • What challenges did schools, teachers, and students face during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    • Do these trends reflect your experiences this year? Why or why not?

    Discuss each of the questions from the video and answer any questions that students might have.

    Have students brainstorm (either individually, in partners or as a class) some of the changes in education that have impacted them.

    After brainstorming, have students view the exploratory video clips listed below. Using these different perspectives, students will take notes on the following topics to eventually make their own predictions about the future of education. This activity can also be adapted as a Jigsaw activity where students are assigned one video clip and present their findings.

    • Changes and Challenges to Education during COVID-19

    • Predictions about the Future of Education

    • Your Opinion on These Predictions

    Have the students use the information from the video clips and their own experiences to address the following question. You can choose to have students respond to this prompt with a written response or as a class discussion.

    • How might the coronavirus pandemic permanently change education? Use evidence and information from the video clips and your own experiences to support your answer.

    Reforming the Education System- Based on what you have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic in schools, how would you redesign or reform America’s school system. How would you structure it? What would you keep from the current system? What you would you change from the current system? Provide an explanation of your plan.

    Public Opinion Survey- Develop a survey that gathers information on how other students, teachers and parents think COVID-19 could or should change education. Implement this survey and gather results. Using these results, draw conclusions about how the public view these potential changes.


    • How would you evaluate your school’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

    • Which changes to education did you like this year? Which changes to education did you dislike?

    • How did your experience this year differ from students around the country?

    • What challenges did schools, teachers, and students face during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Additional Resources


  • Accountability
  • Attrition
  • Blended Learning
  • Coronavirus
  • Covid-19
  • Curriculum
  • E-learning
  • Formative Assessment
  • Gamification
  • Hybrid Learning
  • Innovation
  • Learning Loss
  • Logistics
  • Remote Learning
  • Rigorous
  • Rural Broadband
  • School Choice
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Virtual Learning




Middle SchoolHigh School