Despite most teachers learning to teach online these days there are still ways in which you will be able to take advantages of how technology at home can help.
It is a little different to the use of technology in the classroom, however, the concepts are still the same.
8 Ideas and Strategies to use Technology at home effectively
Here are my ideas of teaching strategies during lockdown.
It is hard to come by any student who doesn’t have an email address these days – personal or school! Email can be used to teach literacy skills as the language we use is different at times. You can ask students to email your work as well (we’ll cover this more in the next point). This type of technology at home is effective in education because it is asynchronous, interactive, worldwide at no extra cost and you can send large amounts of information.
Get students to save and send their work to you at different stages of the process
This is a great idea to enable you to keep track of student learning progression while they learn from home. You can’t monitor their computer work as you would typically do, however, if you do need to monitor their learning progression then it is a good idea to get them to save their work during different intervals of the ICT activity. It could be for their project or assessment. Instruct them to Save As every time and make sure that they use a different name at every phase of their work. For example, Mat1, Mat2, Mat 3…etc, FinalMat. Formative assessment strategies such as this work very well.
Use video to either film the entire lesson or parts of the lesson
I remember several years ago about the maths teacher Eddie Woo who started a YouTube channel for his students who were away or sick and who could not attend his lessons. If you have the tools available it does not seem like a bad idea and once you get it set up at the start it should run like clockwork. With most or all students in lockdown in their homes now for a while, you don’t have to stress about potentially capturing them on screen. Although it is good idea to check with senior management for to occur. Filming the entire lesson on video and then emailing it to students will work.
I think that it is comforting for a lot of students to continue to see your face one way or the other using video. If you are not comfortable filming the lesson try part of the lesson or even use your own webcam to record a message every day for students. Parents I think will appreciate it too if drop a message for them as they may need some tips. Be sure to say it in a language they will understand.
Don’t forget that many students have smartphones too or you may have one yourself. What about asking students to post videos of their work or questions they need to ask via email. It is a sinch for them to do.
Use online collaborative tools
Your school may already have online collaborative tools available for your students to use so it may be a good idea to utilise these at this stage. If this isn’t the case, then you still facilitate a collaborative learning environment by using the collaborative features in MS Word and email. Just also by searching for online tools like this you will come across a couple of options.
Set students a task to create a web page
A web page is a type of word document so you could mix it up bit and get them to design and create a web page of their experiences during this time. You don’t need to go looking around for the web developers too. Did you know that MS Word allows you to create a simple web page? The whole class can create a page of their own experiences and then link them all together for a class LockDown Experience. This provides a lot of educational value as it all lies with being able to produce web pages and publishing material online. Something we are ALL coming to terms with. For you as the teacher, it is the power to combine text, images, video and audio in a non-linear sequence under the control of the user. This can either be you using it interactively with them or a single student working independently.
Other programs you can use include MS Publisher or even presentation programs such as Prezi or PowerPoint.
Teach Information literacy skills during activities
Let’s face it! Most of us are all spending more time online. I know due to the amount of traffic my blogs have been receiving. This is a great opportunity to exploit the circumstances and during activities set students task to evaluate websites for information – it could be their own interest – and teach valuable information literacy skills to give them the skills they need to sort and analyse the vast amount of information on the net.
Virtual learning environments
You may not have the option of the VR glasses, other options such as Google Earth is good as well. They have a lot of potential for e-assessment these days. These are web based systems that provides tools for teachers and students to help manage learning. It assists teachers to structure the curriculum over a period of time. It can also provide email tools such as bulletin boards and conferences which support directing, guiding, facilitating and responding to students both individually and in groups.
Professional Learning Community for Teachers
You can’t forget to stay in touch with fellow colleagues and a PLC is great for this. There are many around. One option is to enrol in an accredited online teacher workshop that gives you options to collaborate with colleagues from the around the world, learn from the theories taught and share your experiences with others. Make sure that they are teacher quality workshops such as those that are aligned with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.