Parents worldwide have unexpectedly become educators as, one after another, state leaders announced school closures in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Daily schedules are circulating on social media and people are sharing free resources, ranging from purely academic to fun and reassuring, in a decidedly uncertain time. Many experts urge teachers not to stress if they haven’t scheduled 6 daily hours of learning for their students–children are already likely stressed from an unexpected school break, so balancing academic time with fun time is perfectly fine.
“When it comes to remote teaching, start with reassurances to students. Our goal is not to create a fully-featured, 6 hrs/day online learning experience for all students. The goal is to prevent students from losing any ground while school is out and work on fluency or automaticity for what they’ve already learned. Start with reading, then add some writing and math,” says Hilary Scharton, VP of K-12 Strategy for Canvas. “Kids can do lots of age-appropriate science ‘experiments’ at home just cooking with mom or dad. Next steps could be replicating what happens in your face-to-face class online. There are lots of free tools that will let you upload a PDF so your students can annotate on a worksheet. You could do a video call with a conferencing app. Send your students links to newspapers or content sites. If you’re already using different apps in your classroom, use them more.”
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Edtech partners and service providers have stepped up to support teachers and administrators who are suddenly tasked with becoming online educators. Following is just a small sample of the rapidly-increasing free resources available to teachers and parents. We plan to create a number of resource lists to help our readers maintain a bit of routine and normalcy for students, so check back often for new content.
1. Your school or district website. With little to no warning, teachers and administrators across the nation (and the globe) scrambled to move lessons and learning resources online. Many districts tried to get devices and/or wi-fi hotspots to students for extended breaks. School or district websites offer learning materials, links to teacher webpages, assignments, and information on resources such as district TV stations.