Across the world, schools are closing due to the Covid-19 virus. Teachers and staff are scrambling to put distance learning in place, but finding the right resources can seem like a scavenger hunt. We have pulled together a list of tools and resources (and tips on how to use them) that will help supplement your online learning curriculum.
Learning Management Systems
When teachers and students are working together remotely, they need a learning management system to house all of their educational content, tests, and more. Some of the better known learning management systems include:
Modes of Communication
When students can be physically at school, most teacher-student communication is conducted in person. When distance learning has to be put in place, the mode of communication changes.
Teachers should try to remain available to students through various means, like email, phone, video conferencing and set virtual office hours. Multiple means of availability are required in order to ensure equitable access of information, but for those that have internet access, some top choices for digital communication are:
- Microsoft Teams
- Zoom. (Here are Zoom task cards for teachers and tips and tricks created by a teacher.)
- Google Meet (Check out this Google Meet tutorial.)
Prerecorded Video Classes
Some teachers are creating prerecorded lessons; some are recording lives classes in Zoom or Google Meet and then sharing those out to students. If you are running into slow upload times as you try to add videos to Google Drive, try using alternative techniques, such uploading to class channels on YouTube with unlisted privacy settings.
Best practices for recorded lectures: keeping it short, 5-10 minutes, and separate the content into small segments with video, activity and formative assessment.
One of the great things about being in the classroom is that students can interact with each other and help each other learn. In addition to with students’ use of collaboration tools, teachers should also stay in touch, particularly at the 6-12 grade levels to ensure they aren’t inadvertently overwhelming students with work.
Collaboration doesn't have to end when distance learning is put in place. Instead, try out collaboration tools like:
Testing Your Students' Knowledge
Even when your students are learning remotely, it is important that you are still testing your students' knowledge. Some easy ways to have your students take tests digitally are using tools such as:
Encouraging Creative Outlets
In accessible teaching, visuals art so important. Using visual aids can help engage students and support learning. With tools like these, not only can students can find new ways to share their thoughts and ideas, but teachers also can create professional-looking graphics to communicate concepts.
- Adobe Creative Cloud (Offering temporary at-home access to students and teachers)
- Pixlr (Here’s an example of a three-lesson sequence on Pixlr used in Media Studies curriculum.)
- Canva (Canva is optimized for Chromebooks and fully cross-platform.)
An excellent overview for school leaders, from EdSurge: Preparing to take School Online
Exchange tips with educators across the globe in this Facebook group: Educator Temporary School Closure for Online Learning
A temporary hub of information and tools to help teachers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis: https://teachfromhome.google/intl/en/
Join the SETDA and edWeb Essential Elements for eLearning community
Effective ELL learning online: Ten Strategies for Teaching English-Language Learners Online