As we approach the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we can begin to reflect on things that went well as well as things we can improve on in the future. I think we can all agree that this school year is ending very different than others in the past.
The sudden switch to digital education was definitely unexpected and it left a lot of us unprepared. Many schools and districts do not have the necessary resources readily available to make the smooth transition into distance learning. According to Politico.com, only 58% of students in the Bronx school district have access to computers or laptops. According to the Chicago Tribune, only 41% of students in their East Aurora School District identify as English-learners. We are finding that digital learning is definitely not as easy for some school districts as it has been for others.
However, as a result, we’ve seen so many educators and students work together to continue fostering a successful school year and a solid education even with the challenges of short notice distance learning. We have also seen many companies come forward with new solutions to aid students and teachers in the transition to distance learning.
Our trusted partners are offering services to make digital learning easier:
Microsoft suggests using their Microsoft Teams service to connect with students. With Microsoft Teams, educators can share lessons, create assignments, conduct exams with Microsoft Forms, host office hours, and record lectures!
Cisco offers their Cisco Webex Teams and Cisco Webex Meeting to optimize online learning. With these services, an educator can extend access to their classroom, use technology for student-teacher collaboration, and share digital content in an instant.
No matter what solution you choose to use to deliver remote lessons and learning there are some suggested steps we think all educators should keep in mind when developing their sessions. UDT Education Solutions Specialist, Carla Bates recommends the following:
- Provide students with a graphic or tutorial on using the platform prior to your first session or upon entering.
- Develop a set of procedures and share them with the class prior to the online session. This will help ease anxiety because everyone will know what to expect.
- Develop a set of online class etiquette rules and share with the class prior to the online session.
- Incorporate social interaction by sharing your video feed and providing an opportunity for students to share how they are doing.
- Prepare the experience so the learner owns part of the process. Design a session with interaction through questioning, evaluation, analysis, and application. Have students:
- Follow a link on their own
- Click through an interactive graphic
- Watch a video independently
- Complete a mini assignment
- Post to the chat or share out loud
Wondering how UDT can help you optimize your digital learning experience? Contact us today!