Struggling to Transition Your Lesson Plan Online? Start Here
As the world continues to battle the pandemic that is COVID-19, lifestyles continue to change in order to adapt. This is especially true for educators who are facing the unprecedented challenge of suddenly having to teach online – for many, for the very first time.
Recently, Dian Schaffhauser of Campus Technology published a guide made from quotes from instructional teams at colleges for teachers and institutions trying to rapidly make the jump to online learning. Here we’re highlighting just a few of our favorite tips to help get started on transitioning to digital learning.
First and foremost, the guide emphasizes trying to train your staff on the available technology as soon as you can. Instructors should not feel shame for missing the traditional classroom, but should rejoice in the new opportunities that digital learning can bring. At worst, instructors will be learning alongside their students – something that can build a needed bond through difficult teaching periods. “They will feel better about the shift if they embrace their inner learner and allow it to invigorate their teaching,” said Katherine Porter of Western Governors University. “Remember that online learning, at its best, mirrors the way individuals spend much of their days online already — whether they’re learning a new skill for work or researching appliance.”
Digital spaces that act as classrooms – that is, video or online rooms where the instructor can come into contact with all of their students at once – are in high demand. One of the most popular has been Zoom, an online video chat that allows one person to hold a meeting with many people at once. The guide also mentions that Google products, such as Google Meets and Google Docs have been useful for facilitating virtual instruction with students. CEO of Quizlet, Matthew Glotzbach, suggests that these new technologies “will help ground teachers and allow them to focus on lesson plans.”
Some things, the guide suggests, will be very easy to transition. Carli Tegtmeier of Pronto said, “Sharing materials, communicating information, and discussing topics or responding to questions are all core components of teaching and easily done online.” Instructors can also take advantage of the new medium by suggesting content that is already online (may we suggest our First Generation curriculum), getting students to interact with each other’s work virtually, or simplifying lessons into videos all offer great ways for teachers to continue their lesson plans online somewhat seamlessly.
A key component in all of this is making sure that students who don’t have access to technology or WiFi at home are not being left behind. Kelly Herman of the University of Phoenix suggests, “This may mean developing alternative assignments and different ways of demonstrating learning.” Finding out what students who may not have full accessibility need and how they can keep up with classes is crucial now, and must be led by the instructors. This also includes transcripts and audio descriptions for students who may be blind or deaf.
The learning landscape is changing rapidly, but teachers shouldn’t give up hope. Great classes are born from great teachers, and students are relying on their guidance more than ever.
Read the full article from Campus Technology here.