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Distance Learning Resources

With the closure of schools during the COVID-19 outbreak, schools and teachers have had to adopt to new and unfamiliar ways of interacting with students.

Don't worry, you are not alone in your confusion and frustration. Here are some resources that can help.

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Best Practices for Learning Remotely

In this time of uncertainty, many things will not go according to plan. Here's some simple advice: Expect and offer empathy, not perfection. Stay flexible. Be patient. And be sure to tend to your own needs and look out for each other.

While these resources were written for students at MIT, they can provide good ideas for teachers and students at all grade levels.

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Best Practices for Securing Your Zoom Virtual Classroom

With many (most?) schools using ZOOM for remote learning, on-line classroom security is a priority. Ideas include locking your virtual classroom, controling screen sharing, and enabling the waiting room. A list of security options when scheduling a class is provided.

How To Teach Students Remotely

Danielle Rochford has been teaching online for over 10 years. She put together this 52 minute webinar to address issues like:

  • How do I get started?
  • What should I do?
  • What programs should I be using?
  • What can I expect?
YouTube URL
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Tips and Resources to Help Teachers Navigate Remote Teaching due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sarah Martinez has curated resources to support teachers, parents and administrators in the transition to our "new normal" of remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sarah designed this collection to provide teachers easy access to sound advice and curated resources on topics from remote teaching to meeting student's social & emotional needs.

Teacher DISTANCE LEARNING Tip - Switching to a document camera in Google Meet or Zoom

Many teachers have been caught off guard trying to figure out how to pull off lessons. Darin Nakakihara created this edtech tip to help teachers teach remotely.

Darin shows an easy and seamless way to setup a phone or ipad as a document camera and project it into our video conference. He shows how it works with Google Meet or Zoom.

Note: Another option is to download your video app (Zoom, Skype, etc.) into your phone or iPad "document camera" and add it as an additional participant.

YouTube URL
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Improve your video presence

These simple, no-cost tips can make a big difference in your video presence. Nothing is worse than trying to concentrate on a dimly lit teacher in front of a cluttered and bright background.

While you may not have the option of a "real camera" or setting up a studio, following tips 1 thru 3 in this post can make a world of difference. Just turning so you're facing the light can help.

Take time to experiment with different locations around your house. Maybe move in an additional "off camera" table or floor lamp to eliminate the dark areas.

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Edmodo Distance Learning Toolkit

Edmodo has assembled a toolkit that includes webinars, how-to's tips for parents and even host a Twitter chat.

Topics include:

  • recorded screencasts vs live video conferencing,
  • learning schedules & assignment workflow,
  • virtual field trips,
  • how to get set up and live stream, and
  • how teachers and parents can work together.
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20 Best Practices for Remote Learning in K–12

Naveed Husain, from Teachers College, Columbia University, outlines 20 best practices for educators thrust into the remote-learning journey. The list includes:

  • Be as present as possible through video
  • Make active learning a priority in the virtual classroom
  • Use a wired internet connection rather than WiFi
  • Record lessons for videos on demand
  • Use larger fonts and sizes when screen sharing
  • Post all assignments early, and be flexible with due dates
  • Prepare for technical difficulties
  • Have students share something special from their homes
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Zoom has been one of the primary options for on-line classrooms during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Zoom features include dashboards for tracking usage, attendance & attention, integration with many learning management systems, collaboration tools, and easy-to-use video editing and repurposing.

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Tips & Tricks:Teachers Educating on Zoom

This list of Tips & Tricks, assembled by Zoom, includes ideas for getting started, virtual lessons, delivery tips, and a list of tools built into Zoom that can enhance engagement.

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Edmodo is a communication, collaboration, and coaching platform designed specifically for K-12 schools and teachers. The Edmodo network enables teachers to share content, distribute quizzes, assignments, and manage communication with students, colleagues, and parents. Edmodo is very teacher-centric in their design and philosophy.

Even before the current crisis, teachers and students found the platform valuable and spent large amounts of time on it, both in and out of the classroom. At this point, they provide a very robust remote learning option.

Edmodo is free to use. They do offer some premium features, but these features are not required for daily classroom use.

Well worth checking out. The advantage of Edmodo is that it can continue to be of value after schools "get back to normal".

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Skype in the Classroom

Skype, Microsoft's entry in the video conferencing area, has large set of resources for class use, including virtual field trips, the ability to bring in guest speakers, collaborating with classrooms around the world and special events.

Look for the Getting Started Guide button at the bottom of the page.

While Skype may not be as well integrated as some of the other offering on this page, it seems to have the best video quality of all the services at the moment.

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