Across the nation, educators are being asked to teach students of all ages remotely and to provide students with purposeful and meaningful educational opportunities, all without setting foot on campus.  Although educators are offered professional development on incorporating technology in the classroom, the current pandemic is asking teachers to adapt more quickly and with less training than expected.  In the face of change, teachers will rise to the occasion to meet the ever-changing needs of our students.

Taking education virtual is much easier said—and written about—than done. EdSurge has created a guide, “Navigating Uncertain Times: How Schools Can Cope With Coronavirus,” to help educators, parents and anyone else seeking advice during an abrupt and turbulent transit. Resources are being made available as quickly as possible to help navigate these unchartered waters. A helpful tip is to create routines and rhythms for children at home. Regardless of whether you’re a parent, caregiver, educator or anything in between, check out how to teach effectively online and work productively remotely.

As education delivery continues to change over the next few weeks and months, educators will be learning best practices for distance teaching.

Here are a few things to expect:

CHANGE IN ROUTINES

During this time that students will not be attending school, many may feel anxious or struggle without familiar routines and procedures. Routines provide stability to students and this disruption could have negative repercussions.

As a teacher, you may be their true constant. While classroom doors are shut, it’s important to try and remain as consistent as possible. This may require establishing new routines. The most important thing is to maintain a positive connection with your students.  A great starting place is to make home phone calls to parents of the students in your homeroom class.

PHONE CALL CONSIDERATIONS

Here are some guidelines on what to ask:

  1. Check in on each family and ask if all members are emotionally and physical healthy. If you identity anyone in need, your district many have resources available to help.
  2. Ask parents if they have access to internet and computers. This will allow you to make sure you are prepared for lesson planning. For any student/s without the necessary equipment for distance learning, please check in with your district to see what may be loaned or provided.
  3. Tell parents to check their email often and visit the school and district websites frequently, as information from the school will be continuously updated.
  4. With parent permission, ask to speak to the child.  Tell them you are thinking about them and planning lessons for them.  Explain to them that school is changing, not ending.  Reassure students that you will continue to be their teacher.

USING GOOGLE CLASSROOM

There will be many adjustments to transition to a remote classroom.  Google Classroom is an excellent resource with which many students already familiar and know how to use.  If you already have Google Classroom set up, great! You’re one step ahead.  If you have not yet started with Google Classroom, no worries. It’s pretty simple to get started. Google also has a video conferencing tool called Google Hangout.  This tool supports group conferences where you can meet with students online for some quality face time with one another.  As the remote learning progresses, you may decide to create whole group and small group Google Hangouts, working with different students on specific learning goals.

OTHER WEB BASED METHODS

Google Classroom is just one of many excellent tools out there. There are video conferencing services available which you might find useful when looking for ways to connect with your students.  Zoom, for example, is a great web-based video conferencing platform which allows many students to connect at the same time.  Zoom is temporarily lifting the 40-minute time limit on free Basic accounts for schools affected by COVID-19.  If this sounds like a helpful resource, visit the Zoom website for sign-up details.

Additional Virtual Teaching Resources:

More Resources for Teaching Online

Lots of sharing going on here and on their Facebook page http://learneverywhere.org/

Other resources –

Resources to Expand Access To Prepare for Distance Learning

Sample Distance Learning Plans from School Districts and CMOs

Resources for Getting Connected to the Internet

Online Learning Programs

High School, Advanced Placement, SAT & ACT Updates

More resources from the Texas Teachers team!

  1. Readworks.org-reading passage practice
  2. Epic books-kids can read, have stories read to them, and watch educational videos
  3. Prodigy-super fun math practice that is set in a wizard world
  4. Sports illustrated KIDS-great for social studies
  5. Smithsonian for kids-great for social studies and science
  6. PBSkids.org-various practice
  7. Sheppard software-learning games in all subjects
  8. Arthubforkids-fun drawing videos
  9. Freckle-practice for ELA and math
  10. No Red Ink- grammar and writing
  11. NewsELA– Solutions for every subject, every student
  12. ABC Mouse- Early Learning Academy
  13. Amazing Educational Resources– Links to tons of other online learning options/resources

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