The purpose of this blog is to provide resources for those who are new to e-learning and want to support K-12 learners in the swift transition to learning at home in the midst of COVID-19 social distancing . This resource is provided in response to the Educational Opportunities and Barriers During Social Distancing survey.
Teaching Tips for Establishing a Virtual Environment
There are several key components to designing and maintaining a learning environment that will best support students. In each blog, we will share a key consideration and actionable tips to planning e-learning enactments.
The first key consideration is EXPECTATIONS. While we are in reaction-mode as we adjust to national social distancing protocols, we need to be clear with our learners and their caregivers about what is required for the class and each assignment as well as how you will facilitate learning. Here are a few suggestions—
Pause; take a deep breath. This is new, and maybe frustrating for you, your learners and their caregivers. Be patient with yourself, and practice empathy with others.
Set and communicate a schedule for when assignments will be posted and reviewed.
Share how learners and caregivers can be in touch with you; include “office hours” for virtual chats and phone calls as well as your typical e-mail response time.
For each assignment, make the learning goal plain (avoiding education jargon) and provide resources— video links (Kahn Academy), informational texts (links to your local library digital and audio resources), and/or examples of student work that you’ve de-identified and saved to an online drive.
Inform students and caregivers the amount of time they should work on the assignment. In your planning remember that it is about quality and not quantity. Everything you ask your learners to accomplish should directly support achieving your learning goal.
We will discuss planning e-learning lessons and how to engage learners while avoiding what may be perceived as busy work in a post. If you need assistance with using these tips or have additional questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You Asked for It
This section is dedicated to the open ended questions you expressed on the Educational Opportunities and Barriers During Social Distancing survey.
Q: We are doing school all day, but my child is bored and misses her friends.
Believe me, I'm trying to help with school and entertain her, but I have work to do, too! I’m not sure what to do!
A: Your child may be experiencing stress of social isolation. Remember children of all ages, from infants to teens, experience emotions of isolation just as adults do. Provide them with outlets and interactions during this time of social distancing. Consider hosting a virtual play date using free platforms such as Google Hangouts or Zoom. Coordinate with other parents to have your kids make lunch together, read a book, or just share what has been happening in their world. This play date could also provide you with a few moments of free time depending on what your child is doing with their friends. If you need help, search “how to use Zoom” or “how to use Google Hangouts" on YouTube.
Verbalizing Visions looks forward to being partners with you as we all adjust to a temporary, new normal. Please share this blog as you see fit! If you have questions or need additional assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.