5 best practices in remote learning

29th Dec 2020

5 best practices in remote learning

2020 was a turbulent year in which nearly all schools embraced remote learning, some for the first time. We heard from many schools who endured teething troubles as they adapted to a new method of education, but after a while, a consensus seemed to be reached on how to do it well. Here is a summary of what have become accepted as fundamentals of a successful approach.

  1. The principles of excellent teaching always apply, irrespective of the method of delivery

    Good teachers are likely to be confident in an approach that works for them, derived from a combination of their initial teacher training allied with solid classroom experience. Although it may feel at first as if they’ve moved to another planet, in fact the basics are the same. There’s no reason not to rely on the essential values that underpin the delivery of outstanding education, whatever the format.

  2. Keep on top of device and connectivity issues

    It’s unlikely that each member of a class has unencumbered access to their own device with a perfect internet connection. Therefore, it becomes imperative to keep an accurate record of exactly what the issues are, and try all possible workarounds to mitigate against them. Those solutions may include:

    • laptop loaning schemes
    • scheduling carefully to avoid laptop clashes in busy homes
    • asking parents about tethering to mobile devices
    • lobbying internet service providers and connecting them to families.

  3. Communication is key…

    … may sound like generic, waffly advice to suit any situation, but in the case of access to remote learning, precision is vital. Parents and students need to know in plenty of time what is expected of them, and when. And should your crystal clear instructions be ignored, it’s important to keep close tabs on who and why, so that you can follow up on any problems, and treat attendance as the serious matter it always has been. In order to communicate effectively, you need to make sure everyone’s email addresses and phone numbers up to date; where they’re not, keep pushing until you have an entirely accurate database, then set regular time aside to maintaining it.

  4. Think about resources more carefully than usual

    Getting everything ready for a lesson in a classroom is often stressful and fiddly. That process is likely to be trickier when teaching remotely; you have far less control over the environment, and many simple things you take for granted, for example pencils and paper, are no longer guaranteed. If your lesson relies on printing something, there’s a decision to take about how realistic home printing might be. Primary teachers especially have learned to prepare a long way in advance, sometimes even leaving batches of sanitised resources on doorsteps with instructions to parents that allow a week or two’s worth of lessons to work properly.

  5. Maximise interactive potential

    Most teachers would agree that interactivity is crucial to effective lessons, but it’s not always easy to achieve. One of the major benefits of remote learning is its potential to promote greater interaction than may be feasible in a physical classroom, which may make formative assessment simpler and more accurate. Set a quick quiz any time you like, set a collaborative project that relies on discussing the approach through a forum, recommend handy clips – all may smooth the path to strong learning.

Faronics Wise will be holding a 20-minute webinar on Thursday 21 January at 3.15pm to discuss how we can help schools embed a successful remote learning culture. To register, please click here. https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ugxy8k4bRcu1HLIpGz8ecQ.

Tom Guy, Product Manager, Faronics Wise

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