Online Learning – Connecting Kids

 

 

I am inspired by fellow educators who are busy figuring out ways to continue connecting and working with students. I am grateful to be in a profession such as this.

We’ve had an abrupt and dismaying change in our lives, yet my colleagues are determined to move forward with learning in a new way. Sometimes it just brings me to tears. Which may also be part of my emotional state at the moment.

How to get started with online learning?

You already have the best start ever.  Why?  Because you know your students.  You have had the opportunity to see their faces every day.  You know their quirks, their strengths their interests and nothing, nothing is better than that.

You already have a community of learners.  So take a breath and think, how can I keep that connection going?

What tools can you use?  Start as simply as you can with an online tool that you are familiar with.  Your students need to learn how to use that tool, so begin there. That’s the first step, and if they’re young learners, as mine are, they will need the support of an adult to navigate this way of connecting.

Maybe create a video that shows them how to access and use the digital connection you want to use.  And when it comes to videos – it’s you they want to see. You are their teacher so be yourself and if the video isn’t perfect – great! You will bring a smile to your student’s faces.

When I first began teaching as an online educator I felt that this computer was a barrier to connecting with my students.  It was a challenge to overcome. It’s true, that things may take longer to establish in an online learning environment, but you will once again have opportunities to see the spark of joy that comes when students learn new things.

If there is one thing I have observed, it is that young learners are very capable of using digital tools for learning, and this has changed the way I teach. Digital tools have become more intuitive and friendly, and young learners are also increasingly familiar and adept at using technology in their lives.

 

 

 

 

Online Courses – What makes them work for you?

Will Richardson’s, thought-provoking questions at BlendEd 2018 Edmonton, Alberta @willrich45, @blendEDAB

If you were asked, “Identify ten ingredients for an effective and meaningful online course.”,what would you include as essential?

Have you taken an online course?  What worked for you?  What were the challenges?  Share your insights, thoughts, and wishes when it comes to online learning. I am curious to hear from students, teachers, parents, and others.

My thoughts are shared here. Some of my essentials have to do with course design, other ideas relate to effective pedagogy and how we learn best.  As a teacher and designer of online learning for a unique and mixed audience, young learners in grades 1 to 3, and their families, I think about this every day. My online courses continually evolve as I learn new things and respond to the needs of my students. This list is not definitive, it’s my free flow thoughts in early January as I think about the remainder of this school year and how to give my students the best I know.

Here you go:

1. Start with in-depth support for students as they begin working in an online learning program and provide ongoing guidance to participants.

2. Ensure clarity of language, ease of navigation and visually appealing design.

4. Provide accessible opportunities for easy interaction and connection with the instructor and with other students.

5. Develop a variety of activities and tasks for learners to meet learning goals.

6. Give students multiple ways to demonstrate learning.

7. Provide opportunities for self-assessment, peer feedback, and goal setting.

8. Give feedback that identifies growth and next steps for learning.

9. Create videos for instruction, demonstrations, and feedback.

10. Always model and teach digital citizenship in each aspect of online work and interaction.

What would you suggest or add to this list?

If there is one thing I have observed, it is that young learners are very capable of using digital tools for learning, and this has made my work more fun and creative. Not only have digital tools become more intuitive and friendly, young learners are also increasingly familiar and adept at using technology in their lives. This opens opportunities for new ways of doing things.  So exciting!