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  • Writer's pictureKatie Powell

Teach Beyond the...eLearning?

Like many (most? All?) of you, I am now teaching from home for the foreseeable future.

Watch this video to learn what I'm trying, what worked, what didn't, and what's next.

The bottom line: We should be doing everything we can to preserve as much normalcy for our students as possible, even if we have to do so in abnormal ways.

Schools have become the epicenter of our culture. We provide food, child care, social-emotional care, and much more in addition to academics. Look at the country's response to the physical closure of schools. If all other normalcy has been stripped away from our children, we have a tremendous opportunity, if not the responsibility, to do our best to provide as much stability as we can.

For me, that includes translating our class "rituals" into a virtual environment Here's some recorded footage of us getting into our warm-up activity. This was my first class, the first few minutes. This is real, imperfections and all!

The code I used to get the first month of Zoom Pro at half cost was CONNECT50.

Here's the letter I shared with parents Friday when eLearning was announced.

Here's an awesome list of free, reduced, or extended ed tech services:

For those who are interested, here's what I did today.

-I posted info about what time my Zoom classes would open on Classroom last night. I also set up draft versions of my Classroom posts for the day so I could easily fire them up when I was ready.

-I scheduled my classes in Zoom and got my settings all arranged. I pasted the links into the drafts on Classroom.

-I had PearDeck loaded and ready with a note to remind myself to turn on student-paced after the conclusion of live class.

-I had all the tabs I needed for the lesson loaded and ready.

-15 minutes before class, I posted the Classroom post with all the live class info. I got into Zoom and greeted the kids.

-After class, I posted the separate draft for my students not participating live giving them the adapted directions. Then I repeated the process with my afternoon class.

-I'll take attendance using Pear Deck. Pear Deck also has great SEL slides, so I'll be able to check in with students' well-being too.

-I'm hosting as much of my eLearning directions, links, work, etc on Pear Deck as our one-stop-shop throughout eLearning. Basic directions for each day will be posted on Classroom, including the Pear Deck code for students who couldn't join live.

My HOME schedule currently is:

8:30-9:30 my kids get up, dressed, eat, etc.

9:30-12:00 eLearning for all of us

12:00-1:00 lunch and break

1:00-3ish finish eLearning/lesson planning/answer emails

I'm trying my best to be off-duty after that. We'll see...

Y'all, thank you for being awesome. Thank you for leaning in to each other, supporting one another, and doing everything we can to support our students. One day at a time.

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