For resources like this, check out Educational Leadership‘s free, online-only special issue on remote learning, A New Reality: Getting Remote Learning Right, available April 15.
As your district or school makes the shift to remote learning — trying to see the big picture and think upfront about the many decisions you’ll need to make in the process — don’t go it alone! Many resources are available that give guidance for planning how to shift your curriculum to remote learning, plan digitally delivered lessons, and tap into lesson- planning materials and learning experiences that are freely available online.
Here’s several — of the many — resource collections we’ve identified that offer such guidance.
For Getting Up and Running
Be informed and responsive: Check out ASCD’s updated collection of guidance and resources on school crisis management, safety precautions, student needs, and remote learning.
- Free Tools for Schools Dealing with the Coronavirus
This evolving list curated by tech-savvy educator Tami Brass (@brasst) is a good cache of resources for teachers as they plan, because the tools and guides for online lessons listed are always free (in addition to dozens of digital learning companies/platforms making their services available for free for a few months). This collection includes: Links to curated ways to do active learning or “maker” experiences online (like “Zooniverse” site where students can collect data and join Citizen Science research) and a “tech help docs and cheat sheets” section to help teachers most hesitant to teach remotely.
- International Educators Shared Resources for Virtual Learning in an Emergency
Online communities of educators are compiling lists of resources to help peers plan and teach remotely-delivered lessons: This list was created by teachers from around the world. It includes online learning resources organized by grade bands, a list of tools and subscriptions now offered free to schools, links to Facebook groups geared to specific roles (like librarians), and step-by-step instructions for setting up online group learning with iPads, Office 365, and other devices and tools.
The Academy of Active Learning Arts and Sciences offers this “free emergency roadmap for making a rapid transition to remote learning.” This course was created with input from master teachers who do blended learning. Its “roadmap” hour-long video guides school leaders through answering important questions and taking 12 key steps in planning the transition. The course includes tools like a checklist of steps for administrators and one for IT managers.
For Serving Kids without Computers or Internet Access
A huge question is how to bring children from the 14 percent or so of families with school-aged kids who lack high-speed internet into remote instruction.
- 14 Tips for Connecting Creatively
In a recent Mindshift blog post, KQED shares strategies that schools/teachers are using to reach students with less in their “internet backpack” — from setting up hotspots safely in public areas students can come to with “distancing” rules applied to pasting lessons as long texts (for kids with cell phones) through platforms like Whatsapp.
For Guidance on Using “Open Educational Resources” Effectively
This guide presents tips for using OER most effectively; it also gives ideas for overall curriculum planning using OERs.
Common Sense Media shares this open collection of quality online learning resources for educators and parents during this “remote” period. Content, connected to all disciplines, is drawn from learning (and child-centered) organizations like National Geographic, Kahn Academy, HeadStart, and Sesame Workshop.