Here’s some advice curated from your friendly neighborhood virtual instructors for moving your class into the virtual world.
Talk to your students one on one
It will amaze you how different and encouraging a one on one conversation with a student can be. It doesn’t have to be a really long conversation, just make the attempt to speak with each of your students a few times during the extended closure. You may find that online learning provides more authentic opportunities for engagement than you thought!
Pick a tool or (two) and stick with it
Get comfortable using all the features of Edsby. You can add videos into your daily journal feature. Try creating engaging morning meetings with a screen casting tool. Then find new ways to apply that experience to instructional activities.
Be Present in your Online Class
This course will be an extension of YOU as a teacher. Be sure to develop a strong online presence. Create an introductory discussion post, create an announcement or send a message to your students that lets them know your expectations and how you plan to work from home.
Be explicit with instructions
Since most teachers and students are making the leap to online learning with little or no experience, figuring out how things work will initially be a bit challenging. Be OVERLY explicit when providing directions about how to access materials, completing lessons and assignments, submitting work and how to communicate with you. If you are feeling extra techy, try creating a video using screen-capturing program and walk your scholars through these instructions.
Always be responsive with feedback
Feedback is the number one way to make learning happen in the virtual classroom! Use feedback to share with students what they are mastering, still growing and may need assistance with. Try “feed forward” by giving them a preview of how their current work connects to upcoming units, concepts or activities.
Embrace A-synchronous-ness : )
There is a lot going in your life and in the lives of your students. Try not to commit yourself to synchronous (real time) situations as a primary strategy. By uploading quality materials and lessons, you can shift your focus to monitoring, supporting and encouraging your students as they work in your class.
Cut yourself (and your students) some slack
Many successful online teachers choose to schedule blocks of time to work on specific tasks. This strategy helps with mental and visual strain. Everyone is making adjustments personally and professionally. Remember it will take time to establish routines and ways of work that promote and sustain learning
You are NOT alone!
Everyone is learning a new way of work, as you move your class online you will need support from others. Be sure to reach out when you feel overwhelmed or lost.
A special thanks to Pasco eSchools for the contributing information.