Best Practices

Aside from the considerations mentioned on the home page, here are some ideas to assist you with preparing for remote content delivery:

  • Start with small practice exercises. Have students respond to posts, submit assignments, etc., not related to content (examples: a discussion post about their last meal, upload a document with an image of their pet, a group MadLib assignment to get students comfortable working on collaborative documents).

  • Mix online and offline activities. There's nothing wrong with having students read their textbook (if available), go outside, draw, and submit upon their return.

  • Remote learning can be very isolating for learners and teachers. Encourage group activities and communication. Keep MULTIPLE lines of communication open, such as email, a group texting tool (e.g., Remind or Bloomz), teleconferencing tools (Google Hangout, Skype, Zoom, etc.), and even phone calls (consider a separate Google Voice number as a possibility if you are also working away from your classroom).

  • If you are able to use a platform such as Google Classroom or Moodle, consistency is key. Structure assignments in a similar fashion. Have consistent due dates (e.g., Thursday at 10pm). If possible, coordinate across your building so every course/class looks similar.

  • Have scheduled time slots for student meetings. Be consistent (repeating) but vary times (e.g., 1-2pm on Mondays, 9-10am on Tuesdays, and so on).

  • Provide an expectation document for students (and teachers; to let students know what to expect and not expect). Parents, too!

  • Work to make sure that activities aren't just busy work, and align to intended curricular goals.

  • If you are showing videos, consider limiting how much of the video students view. Have targeted questions based on a short segment.

  • If you are using a platform to conduct an online discussion, space out periods between their initial post and commenting phases. For example, if you have a prompt, allow 24-48 hours for students to respond, then a separate timeframe for commenting. This prevents students from posting and commenting in the final minutes of the assignment (which is not a discussion).

  • Overall, consider structuring learning to address big ideas or key concepts in your curriculum. In other words, cut out the nonessential aspects of your curriculum. That means different things for different schools and content areas.

REMC's FREE Resources to Help Teachers with Online Teaching and Learning

Two classes that may be especially helpful to teachers now:

REMC 21 Things for Teachers (ISTE) - 21Things4Teachers is a free course that helps educators make connections between technology tools and best practice instructional strategies.

MI Streamnet - Through MI Streamnet, teachers and students alike can access enriched and enhanced educational content, and districts can also upload their own locally produced content to shared statewide. There are also helpful tutorials for G-Suite including Gmail, Calendar, Hangouts, and more.

Two video resources that may be especially helpful to teachers now:

The Remote Learning Toolkit is a resource to help support the development and delivery of online instruction, but the recommendation is always to work with your district administrators and technology directors to make sure teachers/students have support.