How are YOU doing?
No but really, how are you doing? I can feel the energy through the teacher world busy at work trying to provide the best possible e-learning for our kiddos in such a difficult time. The power, time, energy, and love that goes into teaching on a regular non-pandemic week is incredible let alone now. We all miss our kids dearly and worry about them daily. I hope you have received some direction from your districts on how to proceed with such an uncharted situation. If not, I hope this post can offer some insight. I am more than happy to brainstorm in anyway you need! Here is what I am doing!
Powerpoint to the Rescue!
My district created a sample powerpoint for us to use as a guide. I have really loved having it and have tweaked it to best fit the needs of my families and grade level. I love it because it doesn’t require a lot of in and out of internet browsers as everything is found in one place! I think during this time while we want to provide as much as we can for families, we also do not want to overwhelm them. The powerpoint also offers not only my students daily structure but me too! The routine is basically the same each day with different videos and activity options swapped in. Here is an example of a daily powerpoint!
I have just recently discovered this awesome FREE video recording service by Screencast-O-Matic. In the beginning I was using photo booth on my MacBook Air and the videos were not showing up in the powerpoint on certain devices. Right now our students are using an array of devices from county chrome books, to kindles, to phones, to desktops! Using screencast o Matic is super easy and since using, all of my families have been able to access the videos! Just an additional tip for MacBook users…did you know if you press Command-shift-5 that you can easily record your screen? I have been using this feature a to make quick tutorials for families!
Schoology Learning Platform
Our district is using Schoology as our distance learning platform. The middle and high schools in were already utilizing this platform and I have to say it has been very user friendly! Whether you are using Google Classrooms or some other time of learning management system, I love the idea of a “one stop shop” for learning. Families are so overwhelmed that having to balance multiple systems might result in frustration and ultimately no use of the system. We definitely do not want that happening if it can be avoided. If you want some tips on how to set up a google classroom, read Holly’s latest post here! Since every family is moving at their own pace, I made some folders with How to Videos to answer questions if I am not available and folders with extra resources if families felt like they needed more. PS have you gotten on the BOOM card train yet? If you have, you MUST check out the new cards by the Autism Helper here! I love the engagement, easy use, and assessment capabilities. There is a language skills bundle, feature function and class bundle and my favorite, the basic skills bundle! Check them out!
You are doing an AMAZING job. What I have heard most from parents is that connecting with their children even during these difficult times has meant the most. If you can video yourself saying hello to your children or talk to them on the phone, I know that will mean the world to them. Best wishes and Happy E-Learning!