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If you suddenly find yourself teaching online as part of your school’s response to COVID-19, here are some helpful ideas (a thread):
#digped
Online doesn’t mean you need to change how you teach. You are still just as human, and so are the students on the other side of your screen. Email, text messages, phone calls—these are all ways to sustain a human connection.
Be honest about what this transition means for you and for students. The rest of the school year will not be the same. You will need to improvise and be patient. Students will need to improvise and be patient.
Rethink grading. Normal rules of rigor, attendance, participation need to be revisited. Asynchronous work is harder than synchronous work (most people find working remotely difficult). Assessment should reflect that.
Human connection will always work better than technological connection. Don’t rely on tools as a substitute for what you already do well. Edtech doesn’t teach, you do. #digped
Look for simple solutions. Don’t complicate distant learning suddenly with unnecessary tools or expectations. Use reliable, familiar tools (email, text messages, Zoom, etc.) so that teaching can remain the core of your work.
Be responsive. Many students may not have internet access at home. They may not have computers at home. Find out what they need, what they can do, and work with them. This means more work for you, but it’s the only way to be equitable.
Be sure that any digital tools you use are mobile-friendly. More students will have access to cell phones than they will computers. Ensuring that students have points of entry, no matter their hardware limitations, is necessary.
Everyone in this situation will make mistakes. Be okay with that. Digital learning and digital pedagogy are tricky for even the most proficient online teachers. Forgive and be forgiving.
If you need help, reach out. There is an enormous community of digital educators on Twitter, and they will help. Use #digped to find support.
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