This is an unprecedented period as more and more schools are beginning to close down. However, educators are still trying to find ways to either engage with their students or at least, continue to develop professionally.
Here are some useful resources and articles for educators to consume during this time.
Helpful tips for K-12 teachers working to educate online
The spread of COVID-19 has left public and private schools scrambling to find ways to continue to educate students remotely.
You should make yourself available online for the period of the day that you normally teach. For this you can use Google Hangouts, Cranium Café from Conexed, Skype or any other synchronous conferencing tool. If you are going to use this synchronous time as your regular class, be sure to record it if you can so that students can go back to it later. Also, those that do not have good internet can go back later and download the recording and listen to it. I would also provide additional office hours for all students so you can be there to help them with any particular questions outside of class time.
Grading and feedback needs to be timely and just as personal as you would in the classroom. I recommend recording your feedback if you can or having a one-on-one video conference call with the student. During the video or call explain just as you would in class and demonstrate the needed outcome.
Read more on The Journal: Resources and Tips for Remote Education During School Closures
Use this time to discover new tools, resources, and strategies to better your teaching
Some teachers may actually find that remote teaching will allow them to discover new tools, resources, and approaches that enhance their practice.
Teachers should try to maintain personal connections with their students, which can be a challenge when mitigated by the Internet. But strong student-teacher relationships positively affect school engagement and achievement, and meaningful connections are particularly important for high schoolers, and vulnerable students in particular. Online learning can feel isolating and lacks the warmth of a busy classroom; however, teachers who transition from face-to-face classes have the advantage of having established relationships with their students. These can continue by facilitating informal interactions, such as sharing classroom appropriate memes, comics, images, or humorous short videos that may not be entirely relevant, but can help maintain the community and set an uplifting tone. Similarly, the class can use forums for formal discussion, but also to post pictures, stories and updates. Rather than whole-class meetings, organize periodic video meet-ups with smaller groups of students to chat, check-in and provide help, support and assistance. Finally, if school policy allows, individual calls and check-ins to support struggling students is crucial, as distance learning particularly disadvantages students who struggle.
Read more on KQED: Resources For Teaching and Learning During This Period of Social Distancing
Utilize both tech and non-tech resources to encourage teacher engagement
Active professional development can be challenging to produce at many schools. The use of gaming techniques for teacher professional development can help create engagement and enthusiasm in PD sessions that might have otherwise been mundane.
Choice and competition are valuable elements to gamified learning.
Offering teachers a variety of activities that they can complete in an open time frame allows them to focus on what interests them. Meanwhile, competition can drive participation: Building out a leader board, hosted online or in a physical location, goes a long way toward getting the competitive juices flowing among participants.
“Gamified PD adds intrinsic motivation in my classroom for me and makes me look forward to competing in more of the activities,” commented one audience member at the presentation.
Read more on EdTech Magazine: Ways to Gamify Your Professional Development