School districts are scrambling to put learning plans in motion to keep learning going, even during school closures. They’re shifting from in-the-building instruction to digital streaming to as many homes as possible, and as quickly as possible. Many teachers have never taught entirely online—and they’re concerned . People still don’t completely understand the benefits of technology and using it as a learning tool. Transitioning to online learning was once thought of as controversial, or as a solution for only certain parts of curricula. It is now vital for every offer. If you’re struggling to figure out the next move for your students, here are four essential tips to transition smoothly to an online platform:
Clear Communication Our first tip is to plan and execute a communication plan. Select a manageable number of communication channels for your organization and communicate “how to communicate.” Be as transparent as possible when discussing with students and peers. Continuously communicate, using those channels only, during the transition. Model the behavior you want your learners to have and stick to the protocols you have delivered. Be sure to set expectations that instructors hold virtual office hours and understand protocols for communication with learners.
Set Clear Learning Objectives and Expectations Be upfront about learning objectives for each course. Doing this will allow you to prioritize materials and experiences that must be immediately available online, and those that can transition later. Keep in mind that you may need to ask instructors to revise syllabi to meet critical objectives, rather than a schedule that made sense only for on-ground programs. Succinctly list your expectations for students to meet the objectives. These must include active engagement. Supporting students online will require different or new methodologies for you. Create a template for your instructors to use to show that students are being encouraged to meet learning objectives.
Make the Shift Simple This transition from in-person to entirely online can be challenging to adjust to; however, it’s entirely possible to do so. Our next tip is to try and make this shift as simple as possible. Offering empathy and understanding for others is a positive step. Try sharing tips and advice for staying connected and optimistic during this era of social distancing. Professors have been adding in personalization to help make lectures more personal and fun—a New York University professor added in song breaks in-between lessons . Try including random facts, breaks, and other opportunities to make light of the situation or bring in a feeling of togetherness for your students.
Setting Up Shop—Choosing Your Platform The last tip is to decide on a platform that provides all the essentials for a productive online learning environment. When identifying technology toolkits, start by listing your in-person resources and determine which will have online counterparts. These might include white papers, chalkboards, lecture slides, etc. These may transition to digitized static materials, streamed or recorded discussions, and streamed or recorded digital chats. Determine the technical capabilities of your instructional staff. Then estimate how much IT or vendor support is needed to get set up. Make sure your support plan takes you through the semester. Our company offers an online program to shift your curriculum online quickly. Amesite meets 100% of your technology and service needs! We offer a smooth transition that includes content conversion, online dashboards, and a fully responsive site that works on all devices. We’ll provide you with one platform with login credentials provided for each user – which includes:
100% of technology tools on a single platform
100% of user training and support
100% support of all top communication channels, including full support of mobile
100% of testing included—institution-wide! Our operations are 100% remote and here to support you! Educators click here to gain access to the free discussion platform now. Learn more about how Amesite will lead the online transition of K-12 schools, colleges, and businesses during crisis to avoid mass education disruption click here.