From The

 

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From The

Balcony

From The

Balcony

Free Resources to Maximize Distance Learning 

While many of us are in the process of transitioning to online learning and work platforms, we’re faced with the challenge of finding ways to make an online classroom effective and accessible during school closures. Though we sympathize and recognize the seriousness of our current situation, we also are hoping this can be a unique opportunity to create a positive experience for students while providing a platform to think about learning in a new light. As we began to explore ways to become involved, we found it fitting and fascinating that two of the 21st Century Skills called for by Common Core standards are:

    1. Adapt to varied roles, jobs responsibilities, schedules and context
    2. Work effectively in a climate of ambiguity and changing priorities

Freeresourcesfordistancelearning.image1In order for us to provide a space for our students to be successful in adapting to their change in roles, responsibilities, and this new climate, we will be releasing some FREE online lesson plans. These lessons are designed for teachers and advisors to use with their classes so that they may continue to develop important skills in areas like leadership, critical thinking, and professional development. If you are interested in joining this online community, please fill out this brief survey, and you’ll receive the link to our first webinar to be held on Thursday, March 19th from 4pm-5pm PST

In the meantime, as you get ready for your first-week of distance learning, here are some tips and tools on how to prepare and create a structure for your first online session, regardless of the grade or subject you teach:

Preparing for Your First Online Session

  • Confirm that all of your students will have access to whatever platform you are using and will be able to participate with equal opportunity. Some potential challenges may include access to a webcam or reliable WiFi.  Most online platforms allow for participants to call in, so be prepared for having varied types of participation.
  • Introduce and review guidelines for how to use your particular online classroom platform. Post in a readily available space for those who need a reference or help troubleshooting. Here are some examples of guidelines provided by Zoom and Google Meet.
  • Create ground rules for your students for remote classroom learning. These should be specific to the platform you are choosing to use, but also for general work required on their own. It might sound ridiculous, but reminding students that they still need to wear appropriate clothing needs mentioning! Provide some resources for students about how to work remotely – it isn’t any different than professional advice for working from home! We have compiled a bank of useful resources on our website. 
  • Prepare for non-traditional workspaces. Not all students will have access to quiet or distraction-free space. Be patient, understanding, and flexible to all circumstances. If needed, set up meetings with individual students to discuss ways to flex or modify lessons to make them more accessible.
  • Consider how much time you want/have for sharing.  When planning your lesson, keep in mind that sharing may take more time logistically, so distribute your time wisely.  As an example, implement a 30 second or sentence limit for sharing. Though you don’t have to hold people to this too tightly if they have something great to share – it gives students the opportunity to think through what they want to say more succinctly.
  • Brainstorm your process for calling on/asking students for input. If you are using video or audio conferencing, what order will you call on them? Remember to mix it up! (and you don’t have to tell them what order you’re going in either – some of them might catch on and think it’s fun to figure out what method you’re using!) Here are some example methods to use:
        • Alphabetical and reverse alphabetical by first name
        • Alphabetical and reverse alphabetical by last name
        • By birthdate
        • Randomly number all your students on a roster and have someone pick a number at the start of your session. That is where you will start and then go numerically from there.
  • You may be thinking, I have 30 students in my class, there is NO WAY I am asking every single one of them to share – that will take forever!  Here are some thoughts for those of you with large classrooms.
    • Choose one method (e.g. A-Z by first name) and use it the entire time.  Each question will have three people called on in order, then open the floor for any who want to add. Only ask questions that require one-word answers. You can get through everyone more quickly and have a gauge on what each of them are thinking (since you may not be able to see them and read their non-verbals). Here are some sample questions:
      • What is one word to describe your reaction to ______? (fill in whatever content you are discussing)
      • On a scale of 1-5 (1 being no, 3 not sure, 5 being absolutely), do you agree with how we should move forward?
      • Give me one word to sum up what we just discussed.
  • Determine how many times you want to meet together and when. Give your students (and yourself!) some time to spend working on things individually and projects to work on collaboratively in smaller groups or pairs (include an outcome you want them to work towards and present back to the full group when you meet).  Having to meet remotely in person as an ENTIRE class ALL the time can be exhausting! Small group meetings can help alleviate that stress.
  • Decide what you will be available for post-session. Set specific times for when and how you will provide extra help to those who ask for it.

We are working hard to continue to provide more content that will be a resource to you and your colleagues during this time. Sign up for our blog to receive this information directly to your inbox or contact learning@leadershipinspirations.com for more information.


No Guaranteed Result:  While Leadership Inspirations may offer an opinion about possible results regarding the subject matter, Leadership Inspirations cannot and does not guarantee any particular result.  By signing up for any Leadership Inspirations programming or by using any content or curricula, user acknowledges that Leadership Inspirations has made no promises about the outcome and that any opinion offered now or in the future will not constitute a guaranty.