...holy crap! There is a whole bunch of learning that needs to happen right now. Not just for the students, but for many of us as teachers. This is not our regular classroom. I think many of us are in the same boat right now. We are either transitioning to online learning or already there.
As I am planning to teach online, here are some things I have been thinking about. What would you add?
1. This is my plug for Twitter & Facebook during this time. If you can, create a Twitter or Facebook account to use to collect & share ideas for online teaching. There is a huge variety of ideas out there that people are freely sharing. You have an amazing #PLN at your fingertips. You'll be amazed what happens when you ask questions and people immediately respond with ideas & support.
2. Don't get stuck on the tool. If you see something cool, there is likely a way to do that within what you are able to use within your district or board. Brainstorm with others & figure it out. We are stronger together.
3. Be flexible & allow choice. Remember that families will not all have the same access to tech or support from a parent. Some families have multiple kids sharing the same device. Other families don't have access to a device or wifi. Assess the needs of your class & provide options.
4. Build community & set rules. Just like a real classroom, you need to establish the norms & rules, and a feeling of community. E.g., set times you will be available for immediate response (e.g., "office hours"). You could use email, Google Classroom Comments, Video conferencing (if allowed in your district) or a document to respond to students.
5. Try to balance online & offline activities you make available to the students. Remember that they are often sharing tech, paper tasks might be helpful. For example, provide them choice to finish something on paper & take a picture to email to you, share to you on the Google Drive or upload to the assignment in Google Classroom OR allow them to use a program like Docs or Google Drawings to complete it online.
6. Try to bring the routines from your classroom into the online classroom. A wise woman once told me (she knows who she is) that the kids would feel a lot better if they have some continuity and familiarity during this crazy time.
7. Start small. Don't throw a huge amount of work at them each day. I'm sure you are noticing when you talk to your families that life is not simple & easy right now, just like it is not for us. Our priority is making sure these students have a little bit of learning, a little bit of structure & a feeling of connection to the school & their peers to make them feel less isolated.
Those are the thoughts I have gathered...what would you add?
WELCOME to my blog!
Please follow along on my journey. I am an Ontario elementary school teacher who loves to learn new things! I love to share, collaborate and learn from others, so please keep in touch!