Saturday, May 2, 2020

This Remote Teaching/Learning Thing!

Just a hodgepodge of thoughts/opinions here!
Thank goodness I have always been a fan of integrating tech in my classroom, that has made this remote teaching/learning situation a WHOLE lot less stressful for me! Whew!

However, I feel for teachers who were not prepared for this, and find it very difficult to navigate this terrain. Especially when it just happened out of nowhere, there was no time to prepare, the expectations are crazy(in some places), and companies are coming at you.Buy/Use my Distance/Remote/Virtual Learning tool! Take my Distance/Remote/Virtual webinar!

If you are an educator showing what you are doing during this time in order to help others, thank you. If you are "showing off?" STOP. You are making other teachers feel "less than."  Have you seen the "Not Every Teacher" image?

Why would someone think it was a good idea to have teachers create a classroom setting virtually? I mean the "sit in front of the kids for hours" type of setting?

Why would teachers give kids SO much work? Especially middle school and high school? Is it required?

Why are kids with devices not completing assignments? My friend had to talk me down from stressing about this. Almost there.

We need to do something to make the education system equitable. I read where some students are still waiting for devices. In April, I mean May?  I am fortunate to work in a district where we were already 1:1. They made sure every kid who needed a device got one. And no, I do not teach in a wealthy district.

I went into this thing thinking I was going to teach 3 subjects a day,  I got over that quickly. Now, I do one subject a day for about an hour. I use what I think will engage. I start with Morning Meeting,(I got this template from Matt Bergman), and edited it.I do a little activity. A fun example, my students love Estimation Clipboard, very cool Math Estimation slides. And then I teach ELA or Math.

I decided I am going to start Math with a Mystery Science video, I miss teaching Science. My kids miss Science.School has to be more than ELA and Math. Nearpod and I are besties. My other buddies are Classdojo, Scholastic Online, Gimkit, Jognog(Not for long though, my FREEBIE is expiring-Boo hoo), Quizizz, and Quizlet, just to name a few.

But those links mean nothing without my kids. The majority come faithfully, even if most don't work outside of "class." It gives us a little bit of "normalcy", I guess. They are pretty quiet, so I let them use the chat to participate. I don't care if they wear a hoodie, or wrap up in a blanket, or show the top of their head. I don't require video, but if you don't answer or answer in the chat, after a while I do know you are not actually there. smh. I do share my screen, so they can show their work, but I switch it right back!

I do let them know I will not compete with their cell phone or television. Choose. One of my students wrote in the chat, "I choose class." I caught him looking up at the television. Does he not realize teachers have these uncanny powers?

I use Zoom. Yes, even after the panic. Zoom was not created for educators. They were not ready. But they quickly adapted and put security into place that has protected me and my kiddos.There is no perfect tool. Hackers will be hackers. Use the waiting room, the password, don't let anyone share your screen...

This remote teaching/learnming thing has taught me some things.
Robots will never take over teaching.
I miss my my classroom with the kids in it. :(

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