All UAE schools are closed for a month as a preventative response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The first two weeks will be Spring break, followed by two weeks of distance learning. Some other countries around the world have temporarily shut down schools including China, Japan, Iran and Korea. The spread of a virus behaves like an exponential function and will likely affect the education of students over the next few months.
How do you implement distance learning?
Distance learning involves students learning remotely, most commonly through the use of online learning platforms. Amidst global economic uncertainty, as an educator there are factors you can control such as equipping yourself with online learning tools to support your students from afar.
What are the benefits and disadvantages of distance learning for students?
Benefits of Distance Learning for students
- Freedom to study at your own pace
- You can study anywhere at any time (asynchronous approach)
- Self-regulation of learning
- Online learning tools are easy to use
Disadvantages of Distance Learning for students
- Chances of distractions are high
- Easy to lose track of learning schedule
- Limited face-to-face interaction with classmates and teacher (if any)
- Learning is limited to Wi-Fi connectivity
- Quality of learning is restricted
What online tools are available to you?
Here are 40+ tools that can help you create the best distance learning experience for your students.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
LMS are widely used in schools and allow for efficient communication between teachers and their class. LMS can be used to upload class work, create assignments, create quizzes, track quiz results as well as communicate with students and parents.
- Google Classroom
- In primary school, ClassDojo and Seesaw are commonly used.
How will you deliver lesson content? Do students have access to an online textbook or will you summarise notes in slides?
To review students’ understanding of content, you can embed interactive questions within your slides. This allows you to modify your lessons to ensure you are meeting the needs of your students.
Imagine every student in your class contributing to a brainstorm digitally! Simply share a public link for your students to contribute.
Create Instructional Videos
Record your teaching and post them onto your LMS. Be creative!
If your school has decided to implement a synchronous approach to learning, where all students are to learn at the same time, these tools are absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you may consider hosting periodic live sessions to answer questions from students.
Students can revise on these sites or create their own quizzes and send it to their peers.
Interactive Maths Learning
Students can compete maths questions online and receive immediate results. Often schools will already be attached to an online maths platform.
Create a project for students to complete. It may include an element of surveying the community, presenting information and reflecting on the task.
- Communicate regularly with your students.
- Give clear instructions. For each lesson, include learning objectives and instructions for task submission.
- Organise lessons well and use folders on your LMS.
- Provide regular feedback on student work. Students can, for example, take photos of their written work and then submit it through their LMS for feedback.
- Provide student choice e.g. Submit a video demonstrating how you solved a question or create 3 questions of increasing complexity, send it to a friend and peer assess their work.