There’s no telling when everything will go back to normal. In the meantime, educators at all levels, especially for those involved in K-12, must do what they can to help teach their students. Remote education has a new face these days as it becomes even more important than it ever has been before. Here are some tips and resources to take advantage of during these mandated school closures.
Use Learning Management Systems
One way to forge ahead is to use a learning management system (LMS) to your advantage. This resource might already be available, depending on the school district that you belong to; two such systems are called Google Classroom and Moodle. By using either of these systems, or other similar platforms, you will have a grade book, ability to work with other students, and more resources to improve your online classroom all at your disposal.
Continue Creating Lesson Plans
Another suggestion is to continue creating your lesson plans. Drawing on old plans for inspiration is a worthwhile idea as well. Posting the lesson plan through the learning management system is a snap. Objectives, warm-up questions, discussions, lectures, activities, and readings, along with homework assignments, can all be made available through this method. Including video messages to your students and their parents can add additional context if it is needed.
Be sure to stay online during the times you would normally be available when teaching in-person. Some ways to do this include Google Hangouts, Conexed’s Cranium Cafe, and even Skype. Also, record the sessions if you can so that students can refer back to it later on; this recording should be made downloadable in case students don’t have a steady internet connection or do not have access to it in a reliable fashion. Providing additional “office hours” beyond the regular 7-3 hours can also make an enormous difference.
Connect Student Groups Together
Find a way to connect groups of students together, especially when they have projects or discussions they need to do together. Arrange small groups through your LMS platform, or give them the opportunity to link up through Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, or GroupMe. Since this technological workaround needs access to a smartphone, it might not be the best idea for elementary school students, but for middle and high-schoolers, it could be perfect.
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