So, it’s happening!
After years of other priorities, cautious baby steps, technophobia or technology integration as substitution of the way we have traditionally taught and learned… IT’S HAPPENING.
Many schools are being forced to close due to the spread of the Corona Virus, often with little or no preparation time. Administrators and teachers are working frantically to set up platforms and procedures to continue learning remotely.
I am focusing on two lenses through which to look at learning remotely. [Of course they is so much more to consider for schools, administrators, teachers, parents and students…]
- Educators knowing how to teach remotely
- Students knowing how to learn remotely
Of course, we can simply assume and aim for our teaching and learning to stay the same as it would in our traditional face to face classrooms, but we would completely ignore the potential remote learning has to amplify learning.
We have an incredible opportunity (among the many tragedies for some and many inconveniences for others due to the virus) to dive into remote learning and jump light years ahead by conducting action research and gaining hands on experiences. Learning how to learn how to get fit for new forms of teaching and learning. It is an incredible opportunity to document these new forms of learning and collaboratively and “crowdsourcedly” (is that a new word?) redefine teaching and learning for the future.
Please don’t be satisfied to only replicate, substitute or downgrade face to face teaching and learning (lectures, worksheets, Ping Pong/Q & A Conversations, etc.) as you are exploring new horizons in remote learning.
This is the perfect time to allow yourself and your students to develop skills, literacies and fluency in amplified learning. By amplified learning I mean
- extending classroom possibilities beyond the traditional face to face contact time and limitations.
- usage of technologies that allow us to redefine the learning task (not just replicate what could be done without technology)
- boost the potential of different media to communicate our ideas, thoughts and messages.
- amplifying the pool of people we learn from. … Traditionally our students have not had a long “reach” beyond the scope of our families, teachers and classmates.
- strengthen our ability to collaborate, connect and communicate with others (whether they are our classmates, teachers, people we know or strangers)
- synchronous and asynchronous (and a combination of both of these) remote learning.
- focusing on creation over consumption
- magnify basic literacy of reading and writing beyond text on an analog platform to communicate our thoughts and ideas effectively by demonstrating global literacy, network literacy, information literacy, media literacy and by observing digital citizenship.
- develop and strengthen our mindset around self-directed and self-motivated learning (heutagogy)
- sharing our work authentically with a global audience.
- deepen learning through reflective and metacognitive practices
This is the perfect time to look at teaching and learning through the lenses of:
- Documenting learning
- Digital Portfolios
- Digital Storytelling
- Engaging in a Global Conversation
- New Forms of Reading and Writing
- Collaboration and Innovation
- Visible Thinking and Learning
- Make thinking and learning visible and shareable
- Visible Thinking Routines to Modern Learning Routines
- Visible Thinking in Math- Part 1
- Visible Thinking in Math- Part 2
- Upgrade your KWL Chart to the 21st Century
- The Now Literacies
Platforms and Tools
Although remote learning is NOT about technology tools, we need them in order to communicate, collaborate, connect and share with each other. It is good, as a teacher and as a learner, to have several tools and platforms in your toolbox to use, to create and to amplify learning. Check out the following tools and platforms that allow you and your students to make their thinking and learning visible and shareable.
- Blogs: Blogger, WordPress, Edublogs
- Google Suite
- Book Creator
- GooseChase– create your own online scavenger hunt
- Apple Clips
- Screerncasting: Screencastify, Explain Everything
- Video Conferencing: Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, GoToMeeting
- Adobe Spark,
- BackChanneling: YoTeach
Remote Learning Activities or Projects to Join, Adapt or Create Your Own
- Mystery Skype
- Skype in the Classroom
- Instagram Book Study
- Global Read Aloud (although happening at a specific time every year, the concept is very adaptable for #remotelearning)
- My Life as a Reader
- The Blue Challenge
- BookSnaps for Learning
- Documenting and Blogging Challenge
- Maker Challenges by John Spencer
- New York Times prompts and ideas.
- Post answers to our daily writing prompts. Scroll through them, or check out this list of 1,000 prompts, categorized by subject.
- Engage in our weekly What’s Going On in This Picture? and What’s Going On in This Graph? interactive discussions, which bring a global audience together to “notice and wonder” about images and ideas.
- Learn with our Lessons of the Day, which cover everything from front-page news to the Renegade dance, and are written in a way that allows students to learn from them on their own.
- Watch and comment on our Film Club documentaries, most of which are under 10 minutes.
- Take part in our contests, including our current Student Editorial Contest, and our upcoming Podcast Contest.
Further resources on the Langwitches Blog to check out regarding amplification of learning
- 5 Opportunities to Amplify Your Writing
- New Forms: Hyperlinked, Hashtagged and Lateral Reading
- Upgrade & Amplification Exercise and Checklist
- From Visible Thinking Routines to 5 Modern Learning Routines
- The Moral Imperative of Sharing
- The Next Step: Amplification… Amplify…
More resources to check out:
- 7 Big Ideas as you shift towards online learning by John Spencer
- Emergency School Closures by Eduro Learning
- Resources For Teaching Online Due To School Closures by The Edublogger
- What to do when schools close for coronavirus by Ann Michaelsen
- ‘Students Are Lonely:’ What Happens When Coronavirus Forces Schools Online by EdSurge News
- 15 Strategies for Online Learning When School is Closed by Global Online Academy
- Coronavirus Closures? Online Learning Tips for Teachers and Schools by Jennifer Pearson
- Further Resources curated by Lucy Gray
- Video Conference Ready! (Early Childhood) by Pana Asavavatana
- Online Learning by ISS
- School Closures? Using PBL in Remote Learning by Ben Owens
- Visible Thinking & Teaching for Understanding in a Distance Learning Environment
- Remote Learning with FlipGrid
- 6 Weeks & Counting: Lessons from COVID-19 School Closures by Kim Cofino
I will continue to update the above lists with ideas, activities, projects, tools and platforms as more teachers and learners are sharing their #remotelearning experience. Please use the #remotelearning hashtag on your social media posts, so we can crowdsource and pool our resources.