Since March, I have written many blog posts on distance learning. I thought curating these previous posts and bringing them together in one space may be helpful as we enter and continue to figure out the new school year together. I’ve linked each post related to distance learning below and provided a short summary to give you a sense of what the post is about. This year is asking a lot of educators. It is incredibly hard, complex work. It is my hope these posts can offer some support as you structure your distance learning tasks and supports for students and colleagues. Explore away!
Transitioning to Virtual Learning: Questions to Consider
This post is framed by questions to consider for each of the 4 R’s: “Room” setup, Rituals, Relevance, and Relationships.
Transitioning to Virtual Learning: Tech Tool Suggestions
While most of us know how we will deliver content this year, the second section of this post—assessing student understanding synchronously and asynchronously could be helpful. I particularly like the Two-In-One tools that enable you to share content and assess for learning simultaneously. This post includes a freebie describing 5 of my favorite tech tools and how I use them.
Update regarding Google Meet: Breakout rooms are coming in October!
Supporting Students with IEPs in the Virtual Learning Space
Organized by Tomlinson’s 4 ways to differentiate, this post gives examples for differentiating content, process, product, and affect/environment. There’s also a choice board template freebie in this post.
Supporting Students’ Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak
This post addresses topics like addressing racism and xenophobia, integrating COVID-19 into your lessons, sharing mental health tips with students, and additional resources to share with students (e.g., support hotlines).
How to Be Well when Teaching from Home
Following a rundown of the 6 dimensions of wellness from the National Wellness Institute, I share specific examples from my practice and a well-being tracker freebie. A version of this post was picked up and published by the National Wellness Institute in their International Journal of Community Well-Being.
Digital Instructional Resources For Self-Paced Learning
I share concrete examples of how you can use instructional resources to support students’ self-paced learning. The freebie for this post is a list of online sites and programs (nearly all of which are free), organized by subject.
Opportunity: Rethink Assessment & Grades
This post is the first in a mini “opportunity” series—posts that introduce the mindset shifts that can help us see beyond the challenges of the situation we have been thrust into (teaching remotely) to envision opportunities for new ways of teaching and learning. This post specifically focuses on how assessment and grades might look different in a distance learning environment.
Opportunity: Genius Hour
Genius Hour is one way to promote student engagement during distance learning. In this post, I share the 3 big lessons I learned when doing Genius Hour in my class. The freebie is the student planning doc I used to jumpstart a semester of Genius Hour.
Opportunity: What I Need (WIN) Time
Many teachers offer small group support or 1:1 meetings for students during distance learning. Just like in a physical class, you may wonder what the rest of the class is doing during this time. This post walks teachers through the basics of WIN Time to help students identify what they need to work on and ensure they have access to the tools they need to work on it.
Opportunity: Student Goal Setting
Asking students to set personal goals during distance learning is brilliant. This post talks about how you can make the goal setting process truly impactful. There’s also a SMART goal template freebie.
Opportunity: Personalized Pathways (Part 1)
Personalizing instruction or differentiating instruction have always been big in the education world. The need for personalized instruction has grown even more during distance learning. Pathways are one strategy educators can use to personalize instruction. This post provides an overview of pathways (i.e., what, why, and how).
Opportunity: Personalized Pathways (Part 2)
This post covers the logistics of how to literally set up a pathway, including what tech tools to use and how a pathway differs from a playlist. There’s also a pathway tracker template freebie to get you started.
Live Classes or Asynchronous Tasks: Benefits of Each
This post summarizes the benefits of synchronous vs. asynchronous activities with the goal of helping teachers think about which activities can be done live and which can be completed during non-class time.
Live Classes or Asynchronous Tasks: The Best of Both
Sometimes you don’t need to sacrifice the benefits of one form of instruction when you choose the other. This post covers how you can use particular tools (many asynchronous) and still maintain many of the benefits of the other type of instruction (often synchronous). The freebie for this post is a set of student-facing weekly plan templates to help you and your students organize what they will do each day or week
Live Meetings or Asynchronous Tasks: Leader Edition
The leader version of the synchronous vs. asynchronous post series, this post helps leaders think about when to hold live meetings with staff and what can be done asynchronously. It wraps up with a few final tips and a podcast recommendation.
Scheduling Your Work Week While Working From Home
This post contains what is perhaps the most popular freebie I’ve ever created. The post itself lists 5 tips for structuring your work-from-home life. The freebie is a scheduling template set up to reflect the tips listed in the post. Within the freebie, you will also find a sample schedule to help you get started.
In case you missed one of these posts the first time around, I hope this collection provides you with some inspiration to support your students during this unique school year.
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Lindsay Lyons (she/her) is an educational justice coach who works with teachers and school leaders to inspire educational innovation for racial and gender justice, design curricula grounded in student voice, and build capacity for shared leadership. Lindsay taught in NYC public schools, holds a PhD in Leadership and Change, and is the founder of the educational blog and podcast, Time for Teachership.