Add these 4 features to your virtual teacher toolkit for online learning.
Author: Linda Scaife
Author of Digilin Learning.
Follower of Educational Technology enthusiasts, of all subjects. I am an MIE Fellow, Apple teacher and Google Educator. If it can be used as a learning tool, I will be keen for it. Currently a science teacher in the UAE.
This post was a long time coming. This is how our school got the most out of our teachers time fedback to our students effectively at the end of our 4 months of online learning by creating examinations using Forms.
But COVID19 online learning has finished? And you choose to spend your first day of your holidays writing this? Why did I bother writing this, I hear you say? So. Many. Reasons. I’ve even listed them as bullet points below! I do see the benefits of examining students using paper examinations too. However, creating and assessing students online should have an important place in every K-12 school, and this is how we completed our first major examination season using Microsoft Forms. Scroll all the way down for a bonus OneNote hack that blew my mind last night!
The act of Formative Assessment is not just for the teacher. It is the most important part of the learning process for a student, and as the student gains a mastery of self-assessment, they will truly unlock the skill of lifelong independent learning in their chosen fields. The best way for students to gain this mastery of learning is for their teachers to deliberately model high standards of student reflection in a consistent and meaningful way across the school. A huge part of this is the language and process that the students use to describe and record their next steps. Careful use of the digital tools that we have used extensively over this year of online learning will help teachers guide students towards their learning mastery.
September 2020 may the perfect time to introduce a more focused approach to empowering students to become the master of their own learning. For the past week I have explored the use of our existing digital tools to boost our Formative Assessment game to welcome back our students in a structured and calm manner.
Pre recorded and live lessons play a huge part in teaching our students through this current climate. They can also become an important aspect of your teaching practice in the future too. Below are some instructions and advice to get you exploring both live and pre recorded options in Microsoft Teams and Powerpoint.
Writing a Digital Strategy.
In order to write a Digital Strategy, you need to work as a team. Edtech leaders will need to work closely not just with their peers, but representatives from the whole school community.
Don’t start writing a Digital Strategy until you have tailored your school’s Digital Vision!
The vision you are about to write will stand as your guiding light for future applications of technology in your school, and also provide the solid foundation for all starting points of digital conversations.
Teachers and students are now increasingly turning to their Clouds in order to manage their various documents in order to alleviate the increasingly student bags. “You can never lose a file” sounds like a dream come true for anyone who creates multiple files and photos each day, which is the majority of our student and teaching community.
Increasingly, we are coming to the realisation that not deleting any photos from the last 10 years means that our Clouds are now massive, and finding the right file can take ages!
Our students are transcending beyond the tribal nature of these platforms. Instead, they are becoming the “Digital Divergents”- able to use their skills to communicate and flow between each platform with ease. Tech companies have realised that in order to survive, communities require their platforms to be cross compatible.
This has meant that the focus for educators is now to teach and build upon the skills that are universally applicable to all platforms. Focusing on these skills, rather than the platform, prepares your students for their journey into Further Education. Our role as teachers has always been to enable our students to take what they have learnt with them, to help succeed in their chosen paths.
Hands up the people who have a colleague that has tried to get you to use a new educational platform by describing it as innovative.
Keep your hand up if your colleague misunderstood what innovative meant and the now paid for platform is yet another digital gimmick in your school.
It happens. I did not properly grasp what what innovation meant until I was introduced to this exceptionally clear definition from Jamie Notter. Your objective is to now look at all the platforms throughout the entire school, and come to a decision on which ones add value to the teaching and learning in your school.