As a result of the lockdown, social media engagement has grown.
Virtual learning has been at an all-time high since this pandemic started, schools shifted their attention to zoom and other learning/video conferencing online software.
What we learned from all this is the power of social media:
The web offers countless best practice guides and curated tool inventories, but educators currently in triage mode are not in a position to craft ideal online learning programs.
This article aims to help educators, administrators, and parents better navigate the pitfalls of making the quick jump to online learning.
It curates useful tools and resources with a view to maintaining the indispensable human touch of teaching and learning during this period of social distancing.
The Home/Work Routine: Workspace, Calendar, and Survey
First step: organize your space and time at home to accommodate your new work environment.
As many veteran telecommuters will attest to, there’s an art to working at home. Basic daily practices like showering, changing into work clothes, setting up a firm work schedule, and a designated work area are all advisable.
There are countless websites and blogs devoted to advising on the trials and triumphs of working at home.
Online learning is often asynchronous and can involve variable timetables, so using a shared calendar such as iCal or Google Calendar will not only help organize a dynamic schedule but also afford easy sharing with parents and students.
Leverage the Power of Community
While waiting for survey results, explore at least one of the online communities that have recently sprung-up to share resources in response to school closures.
Facebook groups such as Educator Temporary School Closure for Online Learning or Online Teaching Tips for the Plague-Averse are great places to start. They are spaces to share material, ask questions, trade stories, commiserate, vent, and connect through shared experience.
Many of the groups are international and North American educators can benefit from their counterparts in China, Japan, and Italy who are several weeks into emergency online implementation.
It’s also advisable to maintain contact with immediate colleagues to provide mutual support.
Quick Start Guides, Platforms, and Tools
Several organizations and companies have published quick start guides to help teachers hit the ground running.
The Academy of Active Learning Arts and Sciences (AALAS), which specializes in supporting flipped classrooms, offers a free Rapid Transition to Online Learning (RTOL) program to help educators efficiently transfer their courses to an online format.
Global Online Academy (GOA) recently published an excellent comprehensive playbook that targets school leadership but also has value for teachers. Similarly, the Khan Academy also has a Remote Quickstart Guide to leverage its extensive course offerings.
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