Covid-19 has turned schools upside down and no one is sure of what back to school will look like for them:
There are things you can have in place to help prepare for blended learning:
Make sure your students know what is expected of them with clear online classroom rules:
If your students do have sufficient access to technology and you are hosting online lesson calls, it is fundamental that students have clear rules and expectations for these calls. You can download thesefree Intro Slides for online calls that include rules, which are fully editable to suit your needs. There a total of 6 slides that you can customise for the start of your online calls.
Use home as a support network where possible:
Free digital tools that might help make blended learning easier:
Kami is another great Chrome Extension tool that integrates with Google Classroom, Schoology and Canvas. It allows you to take any document that you have shared with your students, and make it suitable for writing, drawing, annotating, typing on, etc. Kami can also be used as a digital whiteboard overlay when teaching - ideal for online lessons!
If you’re looking to prerecord your lessons in advance to share with your students, then Screencastify is the extension for you! You can record both your screen and yourself (should you choose), as well as write on the screen while recording lessons. Your videos are then automatically saved to your Google Drive where you can upload them to Google Classroom or even YouTube!
Bring the familiarity of school into your online classroom:
Another thing that you can do to bring the familiarity of your classroom into the digital world, is to customise your Google Classroom banner or banner of any Learning Management System that you use. You could use graphics to make it look like your own personal classroom at school, or maybe even take a photo of your classroom and add that to your online classroom. You could even just choose the same colour theme or style as you used in your classroom and transfer it digitally to your Google Classroom banner. Keeping that familiarity between your real classroom and your online space will help make blended learning more seamless for yourself and your students.
While it's hard to know how to best prepare for back to school post-pandemic, there are some things that you can have in place that will make your life that little bit easier in preparation for either blended learning or distance learning. Clear rules, technology tools and familiar decor can make all the difference.