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  • Writer's pictureTechnology in Education

A School's Guide for Distance Learning

Is your school ready for distance learning?

Given the current climate we're in, it's better to be safe than sorry #toiletpaperstockpiling and begin preparing your students, parents and teachers for distance learning. Here's our guide for distance learning:

  1. Online Platform - Select an online platform for daily communication and content delivery. For example, using Seesaw or Google Classroom. The platform needs to have two way content transfer, that is, teachers being able to deliver learning experiences and students being able to return content to the teacher. The platform you select will also need to have parent access for student guidance and assistance

  2. Develop an online teaching guideline and expectations for staff. A suggested guide is as follows:

  • Create an ‘Online School Day’ timetable that involves the teachers and students interacting online. Decide on the frequency of lessons and the length. Best practice suggest 3 - 4 lessons per day including specialist lessons

  • Share the ‘Online School Day’ timetable with parents along with video instructions on how to use the tools such as Google Classroom and Seesaw (from a students’ perspective). Demonstrate how to open an assignment or activity, how to upload a photo of an analogue/offline task

  • Teachers to decide how content will be delivered, that is, in real time (Google Hangouts Meet) or via pre-recorded videos (Screencastify)

  • To ensure consistency for students, the online school day begins at 9:00 am. Students login and are greeted by their teacher and peers via a Google Hangouts Meet. This allows for checking in, introducing the online school day and explanation of the learning experiences

  • Real time content - Teachers provide students with a link to join the Google Hangouts Meet. Hangouts Meet allows teachers to talk to their students face to face online as well as present the learning experience for example, Google Doc, Slide, Google Form, website, photograph of text, etc. During the Hangouts Meet, there is the ability to use the chat functionality whilst teaching to engage students. Once the meet is completed, a virtual or analogue learning experience is to reinforce student understanding

  • Pre-recorded videos - Teachers can use Screencastify to create short 10 - 15 minute lessons that students watch. A virtual or analogue learning experience is to reinforce student understanding

  • Specialist teachers use the same platform for content delivery as the classroom teacher. This is to ensure consistency

  • Teachers provide students with feedback at least once a week on their learning. Short and sharp feedback (Tweet size). Feedback is accessible by parents

  • Develop a protocol for student and teacher communication, teacher and teacher communication and parent and teacher communication

  • Teaching teams to plan at a set time each week

  • Staff meetings to be scheduled at a set time each week

Things to Consider:

  • Do students have access to a device. If not, how will the school support student learning...

  • Is your online platform ready

  • Do staff know how to use your online platform of choice

  • Do staff know how to use online teaching tools such as Google Hangouts Meet and Screencastify

  • Have a practise staff meeting online to get teachers familiar with virtual learning


Master the Screencast (Short course)

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