April 2021 Connections Preview | MIT J-WEL

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April 2021 Connections Preview

Greg DeFrancis leads a hands-on sessionJourneying Toward a Post-Pandemic World

One year after J-WEL converted our traditional in-person J-WEL Week into the inaugural virtual J-WEL Connections, we are about to welcome our members to J-WEL's April 2021 Connections. J-WEL Connections is our signature online gathering of J-WEL member organizations. 

This year’s theme focuses on the implications of and our journey towards a post-pandemic world. Our general plenary sessions will discuss the recovery from Covid-19, the reconstruction of daily life after Covid-19, and the reconfiguration of education after the pandemic. Together, J-WEL’s global community of educators, policymakers, and employers can discuss how we can collectively help shape those outcomes.

Reconstructing Lives, Reconfiguring EducationProfessor Jacob White demonstrates during a J-WEL Connections session

For our “Recovery From Covid” session, we are excited for our panelists Dr. Dan H. Barouch, Principal Investigator of the Barouch Laboratory, which helped develop the Johnson & Johnson vaccine; Arup Chakraborty; Anette (Peko) Hosoi. Moderator Sanjay Sarma will lead the discussion on the scientific likelihood of recovery plans; how we might reconstruct our daily lives after what we’ve learned this year; and how we might collectively reconfigure education to be more resilient and equitable overall.

Sarma will also moderate our second plenary titled, “Reconstruction of Daily Life After COVID.”  J-WEL welcomes panelists Mark Silis, Krystyn Van Vilet, and Michael Wilens to speak about the range of consequences from when the pandemic upended all aspects of society and daily life.

Mapping a Path Forward

In our final plenary session, “Reconfiguration of Education in the Post-COVID Era,” M. S. Vijay Kumar will moderate. We’ve invited Ehab Abdel-Rahman, Christopher P. Monterola, and Emiliana Vegas to explore the implications that Covid-19 will have on the entire education ecosystem. Through this collaborative discussion, we will map out potential paths for the coming year in each of J-WEL’s collaboratives. 

In addition to our general plenary sessions, each of the J-WEL Collaboratives has a different focus for this J-WEL Connections. The theme for our pK-12 program is "Action Designing for Post-COVID," with an emphasis on professional development, remote learning, and mental health. The Higher Education Collaborative is holding a series of highly-interactive gatherings to reflect on educational experiments spurred by the pandemic and plans for integration moving forward. And finally, Workforce Learning will share their new initiatives, provide updates on prior initiatives, and identify opportunities for members to more deeply engage with J-WEL to empower your recovery.

Attending the Event

J-WEL members with accounts on our website can view videos from our April 2020 Connections in the J-WEL Library.

This event is exclusive to J-WEL members and invited guests. We encourage you to register if you have already received information on attending the event. Please email us if you have questions about attending. 

If your organization is not currently a member of our community, we encourage you to learn more about J-WEL membership and how your organization can participate. 

  • Top: J-WEL pK-12 members examine the role of engineering in the classroom in a hands-on session with Greg DeFrancis, Director of Engagement for the MIT Museum.
  • Bottom: Professor Jacob White demonstrates some of the hands-on activities he’s using for remote instruction with his students during the Covid-19 crisis.