Coronavirus? Options for Turning Physical Classrooms into Virtual Classrooms

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EEEK! I’m not an online teacher but I’ve been told the possibility of virtual teaching could be a reality due to the possible spreading of COVID-19.

You may be more prepared than you think you are! It’s safe to say that some of your lessons will need to be adapted for at home learning but you probably have access to tools that can help with this already! Tools to help you think through this possibility:

Learning Management System. Our school has access to Google Classroom for our lower school teachers and Canvas LMS for our upper school teachers. The ability to add content and share it with others is something that many of our teachers are doing on a regular basis anyway. The ability to have students share their learning back through various assignment options opens the door to many possibilities. For teachers of younger children, use SeeSaw Learning Journal to have students turn in work to you as a teacher- whether it be a video, a photo of something, or a worksheet that they can upload.

Google Suites for Education. Cloud-based computer application software allows for realtime collaboration without needing to physically be together. Students can open a Google Doc, Google slide, Sheet, and Email, to communicate and collaborate with you teachers and fellow students in synchronous and asynchronous options.

Video Uploads to Share Learning. Have students record their learning and upload it to you in video format (or try something like Flipgrid). For instance, a math teacher can assign a Khan Academy video to their students to watch to learn a new concept and then have them do a problem that shows they understand what they learned! Options like Screencastify, Quicktime, or just using the camera option on a device allows students to video learning and share it with the teacher.

Video Conferencing. Teachers can lead courses via options like Google Hangouts, Zoom, or FaceTime. These videos can also be synchronous or asynchronous in nature. Have students log in during 3rd block and teach as you normally would or ramp up the possibilities by having students video conference with subject matter experts, authors, or teachers from around the world for a day of learning outside the box.

Digital Discussion Boards. Discussion boards can happen inside your LMS- both Canvas and Google Classroom have options to keep the classroom discussions going. What a great way to talk about digital presence and expectations for appropriate use when it is happening inside a closed digital discussion board.

Consider assigning options that can’t be done easily at school! Have students cook things in the kitchen as a design thinking process. Have students interview family members for their views on a subject being studied and critically consider their view against that of their family members. Create a project based learning opportunity that students can do at home to share learning. Learning can happen anywhere, not just in the classroom. Send students to code.org and have them learn how to code- attach it to the learning in your classroom. Work with the teachers in other departments and create a learning activity that you both can add feedback on. Send students to Brainpop, have them practice math facts with their home Alexa device, or visit an art museum around the world virtually. What are the websites or apps that you have students visit? Give them more opportunities to work with those.

Will the learning look like it does normally? No. You will have to push outside your bubble of comfortability to come up with ideas to turn your class into an online option but with a bit of creativity and planning it can happen!

Here are some other posts I’ve made in the past that might aid teachers in thinking about digitizing their courses:

Differentiating in Canvas:https://medium.com/voiceedu/differentiation-of-instruction-in-todays-connected-classrooms-33068c575b...

Discussion boards: https://medium.com/voiceedu/online-discussion-boards-for-learning-d785e7cc7888

Benefits of Digital Testing: https://medium.com/voiceedu/data-benefits-of-digital-testing-7b578da9bb8c

Free Apps that Integrate with Canvas: https://medium.com/voiceedu/free-apps-that-integrate-with-canvas-lms-ab068fc4d9ad

Rethinking Teaching with Available Canvas Tools: https://medium.com/voiceedu/rethinking-teaching-with-available-canvas-tools-6afc84e0d5d6

The Value of Relevant Teaching: https://medium.com/voiceedu/the-value-of-relevant-learning-41194c93b82

Teacher Tips for Canvas: https://medium.com/voiceedu/teacher-tips-for-canvas-361a9ad693aa

Digital Testing Safeguards: https://medium.com/voiceedu/digital-testing-safeguards-ee39e0d10a39

Digital Course Design in a Nutshell: https://medium.com/voiceedu/digital-course-design-in-a-nutshell-eye-on-the-prize-8fb38d071fd6

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