If you are anything like me you have been working potentially ten to fifteen hours days for really the last three weeks. In a district that saw my tech integration team completely destroyed during our budget crunch last year, and then to have our team without question come back together and work the kind of hours we have worked to build the framework and provide training has been interesting to say the least. Everyone is incredibly appreciative, which is awesome, but it is also bittersweet. I wish that people had taken tech integration more seriously the last six years we have been pushing for it, instead of making a pandemic force people to see a need to innovate and change some of their instruction.
My biggest hope moving forward is not that everyone is using technology all the time, but that we have a better understanding on how to choose the best tool for the job, and that we think about lesson delivery as information design, students are savvy consumers and teachers need to be thinking about how we are engaging students always- not just in the unique situation we are currently in.
The following slide deck and accompanying video is one of the many PD's that I have been putting out there for our district to help teachers wrap their brains around Remote Learning. Our biggest push for teachers is "Less is More." And as a parent in the district I know what kind of energy and effort it takes to get students through content, and it is HARD. Connections and communication with students is key!
We are advocating the following:
1. Communicate and check in with students.
2. Engage and Collaborate (tasks & discussions)
3. Provide Feedback
4. Office Hours (these should be focused and can be either synchronous or asynchronous)
5. Weekly Wrap Up or Task
We are a Canvas district, use of the discussion thread feature is the most powerful tool and can be used for many of the above options. Additionally, use of the embedded media or video tool in Canvas for teachers to provide feedback is also a game changer. Teaching expectations for digital interactions and peer to peer feedback is critical. This isn't teaching as normal, backwards planning and storyboarding out your course building is time consuming but worth it. You should be taking the time to think screen by screen, and asking yourself how are students interacting with this content and what do I want them to do with it?
Current thoughts and ruminations on educational technology.