Many parents are now working with their children and setting up online and real-time schedules. As a former online teacher I thought it would be good to set-up a q and a area to help people out. Each day I will post some helpful suggestions and try to answer any questions that you might have.
1. Make the online experience a good one! Sounds simple enough but don't just turn your child lose online. They use their phones and computers for games (which can be educational) but normally not for academic purposes.
2. Know your child's learning style- are the auditory, hands-on, visual, etc...choose the right platform for them to learn. There are many out there and that means you have some homework...lol. Remember there are virtual and augmented reality sites, along with virtual worlds, video's and combinations of all these now available.
3. Set up a reasonable schedule...yes, include recess and time to play outside or with real/virtual games, etc. 2 hours goes by quickly online be sure to give students time to get off the computer.
4. Have simple but effective goals in mind each day. Let's do this today, ie we are going to go on a virtual field trip (by the way you. need to have already done this and set-up a fun activity with them).
5. Let them do activities with their friends. Maybe its a virtual chat, or online session using Zoom or Facebook. Be sure it is academic in nature so they are building something or putting together a project or presentation to you or some friends.
More to come....ask and ye shall find...out ..lol. More tomorrow.
Part 2 of working with your kids in an online environment
We all know that students are social animals...(lol, no pun intended). Here are some tips and tricks to keep them excited in something besides playing games.
a. Set up a time that your child can do a lesson with some of their classmates or friends.
b. It can be an academic (math, science, etc), where they work on the same lesson together ask each other questions and compare answers.
b. Develop a social, global, local, or state community activity, or virtual world session. If it's not just a worksheet activity so make sure they have some specific goals in mind. Start by creating a question or having them create questions about the subject area. Then come up with a hypothesis before they do much research. They can then research it and see if there hypothesis is correct. Next, develop a solution to the problem. Then present their solution to you or some other expert and , finally, see what has to be done next. It's a great way to get the kids to critically think and get involved in real issues.
c. Another idea is that if you are going to go on a virtual field trip (museums, art galleries, et al) make it a place where it is a "treasure hunt" or a place they can share their reactions or questions.
d. One more thought, have the group go in and build a virtual world where they can explore or develop their own identities and environment. Maybe it's a place they build based on a book or story they are reading. A historical place or imaginary community based on a story.
Part 3 tomorrow.
Day 3 posts on tips to a successful online experience with your child. Community connections are fun to use in the classroom. Global learning and connections would allow your child to talk to students who are having similar issues or would like to share cultural exchanges. These exchanges can range from simple this is my neighborhood to discussions of pandemics, digitial citizenship, et. al. There is always an issue of time zones when doing these programs but it is worth the try. Programs like Flat Connections sponsored by Julie Lindsay, iEarn, and the digital human library are great resources to check out and see what fits your child's needs. Having a small group of students or friends to do this with is really a fun experience.
If you want to connect within the USA contact friends and relatives in other parts of the country and allow students to do activities together. Simple IXL math or science programs that they do homework together is a good way to keep students involved.
Remember that CSpan, the National Park Service, Libraries all have programs set up to allow students to do activities together.
Day 4 on Monday....
Part 5 - Day 5
Let’s start with the robust use of technology and move to a
simpler world. The robust use would include things like virtual worlds, virtual
and augmented reality, 3-D and more. I want to refer you to someone who is
using this technology in their classroom and it is amazing. David Deeds is an innovative teacher and uses these advanced technologies
in the K-12 world. Here is his Scoopit website (https://www.scoop.it/topic/lcs-gee) and it would be well
worth your time and energy to check it out. His use of virtual programs are at
the next level. Remember it is not only about learning using the technology it is about creating by using technology too!
For a more basic look students can create their authentic
presentations using PowerPoint, Word, Google, Audacity, Camtasia, Moviemaker,
etc. Face-to-face work can be done in synchronous tools like Zoom, or Google hangout. These are easy
tools for students to use as a part of learning. Also, there are multiple tools
available to learn from such as iXL and many more. It is a matter of
preference and learning style. Right now many museums, parks, zoo’s and more
have virtual tours that are free. Apps are another great and cheap way to
gather technological tools for learning and creating. Many of these
tools or apps can be done via the phone or computer.
It is important to do more than “homework”, it is important to critically think about what you are learning.
With the issues going on globally with the coronavirus pandemic and teachers and students having to move to online learning, I feel the tips you are providing are very beneficial.