Our Favorite 5 (ish) Online Learning Tips & Resources
Updated: Jan 8
I can't believe that we're just a few days away from December! Parts of this year (read: the month of March) felt like entire years in themselves, but the last few months have flown by. My daughter, and much of the state of Colorado, will be returning to 100% remote learning until after the New Year. From what we've heard, this is also true across many states in our country. In light of this development, may we humbly offer a handful of tips and resources?
5 Remote Learning Tips
Connections matter. Our learners need to feel connected to you and each other. The holiday season can be especially stressful for some of our students, and this time is when connections may matter the most. Make time for quick check-ins, games, and relationship building. You can find additional strategies on our resources page and in our e-book on pages 7-17. A little bit will go a long way.
Use all your teammates - especially families! Some of my daughter's teachers send me a weekly email with the week's primary learning objectives, an overview of the most critical assignments, and questions to ask my child about the learning.
Keep the main things... the main things. I find it helpful to schedule the activities and assignments for the day down to the minute. It gives me a good idea of how much time learners will be on a computer screen and how much content I have in a day. Then, I remember that families may not be available every moment of the day to help students with transitions, and I look for areas to pare down. I choose the areas to simplify based on power standards and key skills.
Ask your students and families for feedback. They can tell you whether they know how to navigate the learning management systems, or if the workload feels right.
Do things to feed your soul and passions. For example, I am about to start an online iPhone photography course with some friends. We'll go through the course together and share pictures we take in a private Facebook group. I'm excited to have this intentional way to spend time with my friends and learn new skills!
5 (ish) Resources
Here are three remote learning projects you can use RIGHT NOW with your students. These were written to be student-facing and have all the learning strategies and resources built-in.
Distance Learning: A Gently Curated Collection of Resources for Teachers. Jennifer Gonzalez is the brilliant mind behind the Cult of Pedagogy and created this thoughtfully compiled collection.
Building Developmental Relationships During the COVID-19 Crisis Checklist. This checklist from Search Institute has some helpful reminders as you intentionally connect with your students
4 Strategies to Support Students with Learning Differences in the COVID-19 Educational Landscape. I really like the list of accommodations in this blog. I think they can be helpful for all students, even though the author’s intent is to provide support for students with IEPs and 504s. For example, my daughter and I are both hearing impaired, and we often request closed captioning or speech to text as accommodations in online learning. I’ve had numerous colleagues share how much they also appreciate the speech to text, because it helps them to understand and focus as well.
What resources or strategies have been most useful to you at this time? We would love to be able to pass those along as well, so please share! This year has unquestionably been the most challenging year to be a teacher, and we are thankful for each of you!