Skip to main content

Some Thoughts About Distance Learning...

Distance Learning...

In this world crisis, there has been a lot of understandable panic and rampant fear that we have faced. From shortages of bread and dairy products, to medical devices, to – NO! SAY IT AIN’T SO! – toilet paper. Some, obviously, much more serious than others. What there has been no shortage of, however, is the willingness, caring, and love that teachers around the world have shown to their students, their students’ families, their administrators and communities, and, perhaps most touching of all, one another.

Literally around the world, as governments were struggling to find answers and responses to a viral pandemic, we teachers immediately thought, “Our kids. How do we help our kids? How do help feed them? How do we continue to teach them?” And most of the governments turned to the school districts to come up with their own answers to these questions, as the governmental infrastructure faced the vital questions of survival. And we stepped up.

First, to all of the governments who left it to us to figure out – thank you. You did just the right thing for a change. You let those of us who face these problems everyday find the solutions to the amped up problems we suddenly faced.

One of those problems, helping our kids get enough food to eat, was simply handled by district administrators and their teams, from what I have learned. You folks at district ROCK! You actually are superstars in all of this. And, for the most part, you allowed your teachers the latitude to do what we do best…teach. School administrators and leadership teams came together in their districts. At the same time, global groups of teachers used social media for something great – helping and encouraging one another. What a wonderful departure from the usual garbage we hear about!

District administrators, parents, students, and politicians asked how we were going to continue teaching. Some of us asked the same thing, and some even started to panic. And everyone started saying “Distance Learning”. One report had it that the governor of Michigan said that “Distance learning will not count” towards the school year. I don’t know if that was a factual report or not. If it was, I would ask him to check into SNHU, or Grand Canyon University, or – gasp! – Western Governors University, to name only three of the thousand or more online University programs that are all “distance learning”. Or perhaps he should conference with his counterpart in Alaska, where they have entire districts without school buildings – but are successfully teaching through distance learning.

To those who may be panicking (including some teachers), please don’t. With resources like Google Classroom, Hangout, Captivate from Adobe, Pluralsight, Lessonly, and so many others, we have excellent capabilities of reaching the vast majority of our students. I do realize that there are many, globally and locally, who do not have access to online learning, but in most of the “developed” world, the majority do have that access. And those who don’t are not being ignored. Teachers and school administrators are still planning and coming up with solutions to reach those students.

So, when it comes to distance learning during this time of crisis, please, take a step back. Take a deep breath (but at least six feet away from anyone else). Now, repeat after me. “We got this.”

Cover for Novel Study Guide to Accompany S. E. Hinton's Rumble Fish
65-Page Novel Study Guide to Accompany S. E. Hinton's Rumble Fish 
Cover of Novel Study Guide to Accompany Linda Sue Park's A Long Walk to Water
100-Page Novel Study Guide to Accompany Linda Sue Park's A Long Walk to Water



Cover of Study Guide to Accompany Ben Mikaelsen's Touching Spirit Bear
88-Page Novel Study Guide to Accompany Ben Mikaelsen's Touching Spirit Bear

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Welcome and About Us

Welcome to Wandering the Halls of Academia - Teaching and Living Today! Suzanne and Matthew, December 2019 This Blog is about teaching, classroom tips, and living a balanced life of meaning! We will be posting about practices, travel, and products we make for the classroom. Additionally, we will discuss products from other teacher authors. Matthew will be writing and posting some of our posts, while Suzanne will be creating others. We will also have guest bloggers from time to time, and links to other blogs we like or feel you may find interesting! Matthew is a Middle School ELA teacher, leads Professional Development sessions in Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS), the integration of online educational platforms in the classroom, and classroom management/CHAMPS. Suzanne has been a substitute teacher, an interventionist in Math and SPED, and holds a degree in Animal Science, with an emphasis on genetics. We are both teacher-authors of educational products

Becoming a Teacher-Author Entrepreneur Parts 1 and 2

Why become a Teacher-Author Entrepreneur? Have you ever worked with one of those teachers who can quickly create the most awesome lesson plans in a 40 minute period, and you just know that your kids are going to love doing this amazing thing, and you are exhausted trying to keep up with the creation process just from watching? And these same amazing people wonder why everyone else spends HOURS of personal time creating lessons at home. Yeah. They are irritating, and fantastic, and always giving. And I am NOT one of them. It takes me HOURS to put together a great lesson or even the lesson plan. I used to think of those as invested - but lost- hours, because I only had to plan it once, and then I would have a hard copy for perpetuity. But I would never get the time back, and we don't get paid extra for working in the evenings, weekends, or during our summer (is he REALLY going to say it?) vacations, hence the "lost" factor. If you also are not genetically modified to

Becoming a Teacher-Author Entrepreneur Step 19: Creating Fillable PDFs as a REMOTE READY RESOURCE

So, with Distance Learning we have a new aspect of our resources to look at - creating the resource to be COMPLETELY useable for remote online teaching, or a REMOTE READY RESOURCE. If you are a seller with TpT, you have probably seen the offers to do the BETA testing of their automatic "fillable distance form" versions of your resources. I tried it. I did not like it. It is basically a text box placed over every page. And, from what we teacher-authors have been hearing, customers don't like these either. So, what's an Entrepreneur to do? Create the resource to match the need! All of the Novel Study Guides mentioned  are available on AUL, The Wheel Edu and TpT Fortunately, this is a fairly easy fix, IF you create the way I have tried to show you, in PowerPoint. It took me 6 hours to recreate our Touching Spirit Bear  Novel Study Guide, 4 hours for the Novel Study Guide for A Long Walk to Water, and a whopping 2 hours for Rumble Fish  to become a REMOTE READY RESOURCE.