1. PLANNING AND COMMUNICATION
THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL DISTANCE EDUCATION IS PLANNING AND COMMUNICATION. THE MORE ORGANIZED YOU ARE, THE EASIER IT WILL BE.
Develop your unit modules based on the content standards and then decide what assignments you will use. Distribute a list of assignments to parents and students before beginning each unit so that everyone knows what the student needs to do to be successful
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Make it easy for your students to navigate your course work
Even though they have grown up with technology, they struggle with using it for academic purposes
When assigning work to students show students where to access the assignment, how to complete the assignment, and how and where to turn the assignment in.
Make it easy for students to contact you in person. This will cut down on the number of emails that you receive.
3. PROMOTE COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION
Encourage students to participate in live sessions. If you are having trouble getting students talking consider using break-out rooms or implementing other stratgies
Break out room idea: Create three different rooms for students. One where students work by themselves but the teacher is present to answer questions, one that is chat based only, and a third where students can use audio and visual chat.
4. ENGAGE STUDENTS
The best lessons that I have observed is when the teacher directly engages their students. Ask them questions, cold call names and get them to participate
This also helps as a formative assessment of student learning and helps teachers create stronger relationships with their students.
Apps like peardeck and nearpod can be used to help teachers with this task and track student data.
5. BE SOLUTION BASED
Everyone is at a different level with technology, and often students will email teachers with a wide variety of problems.
The internet went out, I lost power, my sibling had the use the computer, are all common reasons why students have not turned in assignments.
Listen to students and work with them. The fact that they reached out is half of the battle, and if they get shut down, then they are likely not to return when they need assistance in the future.
6. BE AWARE
We live in a difficult time for many people in terms of COVID-19 and the political landscape of the country.
Our job as educators is to teach the student to think on their own and support their own beliefs and ideas with facts.
Be mindful that we must include all views and opinions to have real diversity and ensure that all students feel like they are a part of the school community
7. HOLD STUDENTS ACCOUNTABLE
Students still need to be held accountable for their academic growth. If students are allowed to get away with using excuses and not engaging in the material, we do a disservice to those students in the long run
Don't feel bad about holding your students accountable you are teaching them a valuable skill that they will need to be successful in the future.
Make expectations and due dates clear with parents and students, and work with students that are experiencing social emotional issues to get them the support they need to get them back on track.
9. Celebrate "Wins"
Data has proved one of the biggest obstacles in distance education is the social emothional welless of everyone involved
Loneliness is one of the many factors that can lead to stress and depression. It creates the feeling that you are stuck, and it becomes difficult to shake the feeling, which causes us to lose sight of the accomplishments that have been made.
Start every class or meeting with positive things that you have observed and encourage others to share their "wins."
10. Take Chances
For almost everyone distance education is a new way of teaching and learning
There is no previous data that indicates that there is a right or wrong way to teach online. Don't be afraid to try new things, or even just put a new twist on lessons you would have normally done in person.
Take chances, try new things, learn from failures, and celebrate successes. We are all learning together, and there is no better way to teach students than to model that process ourselves as educators.
Created with images by Marvin Meyer - "untitled image" • Estée Janssens - "untitled image" • Bench Accounting - "Minimalist white table" • Thomas Park - "Kindergarten boy looking at laptop computer during first day of virtual learning online school." • Wes Hicks - "untitled image" • Olav Ahrens Røtne - "How To Solve A Rubik’s Cube" • Andrew Neel - "Woman working by a window" • Tamarcus Brown - "Drawing artist and Dr. Seuss" • Scott Graham - "Sign here" • Jason Dent - "untitled image" • Jacqueline Munguía - "Happy face signal. "