Teachers across the country are working under incredible conditions to “normalize” the learning experience for their students. This means extra hours creating interactive lessons, planning a simplified scope and sequence of lessons, and deciding which materials will be used for asynchronous learning and the ones for synchronous sessions. Combine this with trying to balance their personal lives, and more teachers have admitted to experiencing burnout (and we’re barely halfway through the school year). Of course, the availability of education technology for helping teachers teach and students learn is plentiful but dizzying – there’s so much out there! Before making a selection, let’s look at what teachers have found successful for remote instruction.
What has worked for teachers?
- Prerecorded videos that teach or review key concepts and skills
By creating 5–10-minute videos, teachers can adapt lessons and differentiate instruction to meet learning needs while still providing “face-to-face” instruction. Students thrive when they can see and hear their teachers so original, teacher-created videos are important.
- Scheduling live video sessions 6-10 times a week
Live, synchronous lessons let teachers and students engage with the learning material and with one another. During these live sessions (15 minutes – 1 hour depending on grade level and/or subject), students can categorize new points, practice new terms, and share thoughts on different topics. Encourage discussion so that students can assimilate new concepts with what they already know.
- Facilitating most live sessions with small groups
Synchronous sessions with smaller groups allow for more interaction, which leads to students getting to know one another better. Students can be rearranged in different groups according to activity and learning needs, adding variety to class engagement. The goal should be that students have had opportunities to work everyone in the class during the school year.
- Assigning self-paced activities for asynchronous learning
Activities can be used for frontloading new concepts, skills, topics for flipped learning so that students are prepared for the next live class session. Activities can also be assigned as review, reteach, or extension of lessons. Assignments that are self-paced are especially helpful for students with special learning needs such as ELLs who require more language scaffolding.
- Providing regular, weekly feedback on assignments
Consistent feedback helps both teacher and students gauge learning progress. Changes in activity completion or lesson comprehension can help shape subsequent live sessions. Students will also see what they need more help with and can request additional help.
- Having one whole class live session weekly
Many teachers have used a whole class weekly session to review content learned during the week, as well as nurture whole class relationships. Weekly whole-class sessions can be used for Show and Tell, fun learning games, and to recognize students who have made exceptional efforts during the week (writing samples, feedback, video assignment, etc.). Include time for students to bond in breakout rooms, giving each small group a discussion starter to get the ball rolling.
Like previously mentioned, there is an abundance of education technology solutions on the market and it can be a challenge to research, trial, and select a solution that both teachers and students are comfortable with. The award-winning MimioConnect® blended learning platform has helped many teachers and students navigate remote instruction successfully, with easy-to-use lesson building and presentation tools that enhance the active learning environment. How can MimioConnect improve remote instruction?
MimioConnect blended learning platform
- Illustrate concepts and stress key information with whiteboarding tools
During live, synchronous learning sessions use whiteboarding tools to annotate important terms, identify main points, and point out essential steps in a solution. Students can add annotations for richer discussions.
- Communicate with students via video or private messaging tool
With built-in video conferencing, teachers and students can engage in face-to-face conversations that can help to strengthen class relationships. For students who are building confidence, the private messaging features allows them to ask questions or make comments which the teacher can address with the whole group or privately.
- Boost active learning with favorite lessons and materials
Import PDFs, PowerPoint® presentations, interactive lessons created with SMART Notebook, ActivInspire, or MimioStudio™, or create original lessons using images, video, audio, and more. Add questions (multiple choice, multiple mark, sequencing, true or false, etc.) and interactive tasks such as labeling and sorting to boost student engagement and participation in lessons.
- Assign activities for asynchronous learning
Activities and lessons can also be assigned for students to complete before or after live sessions. Enhance differentiated instruction by selecting original lessons or from the MimioConnect Lesson Library. The Lesson Library has thousands of standards-aligned lessons and activities in Reading, Math, and Science.
- Monitor learning progress and identify needs
Review students’ progress in real-time or after activity completion, including time spent on a question or the activity, to identify needs for improvement. Schedule one-on-one or small group reteach or review sessions during office hours to keep students from falling behind. Create and share reports that can be used to help shape individual student learning goals and objectives.
There’s more that the MimioConnect blended learning platform can do but, as we all know, actually using it, experiencing its simplicity, and observing how students engage with lessons and activities does more for making education technology decisions. We’re getting closer to a year of significant change in how we view lesson delivery and student learning. MimioConnect is a solution to consider for now that will certainly enhance teaching and learning for the future.
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Boxlight has a variety of teaching and learning solutions for any class environment – in-class, remote, and hybrid. For more, go to boxlight.com.