Monterey County Office of Education and the California State Department of Education have gathered a lot of resources. Check out MCOE’s page https://www.montereycoe.org/programs-services/ed-services/ for links to more resources and especially check out their virtual coaching sessions https://www.montereycoe.org/programs-services/ed-services/virtual-coaching for live Zoom meetings throughout the week on tech tools, STEAM, ELD, MTSS, and SEL. See the schedule below and find the Zoom links on their website.
Before you pick tools for distance learning think about these key decisions and factors.
- Distance learning is different than just trying to replicate classroom instruction online. Especially in the context of the quarantine.
- How will you provide a consistent schedule and clear communication of expectations and due dates?
- How will you maintain your relationship with students?
- Think about the key pieces of learning and focus on those without trying to do everything you did in a normal setting.
- Distance learning takes students longer
- Provide for students who can only work asynchronously and sporadically
- Take care of yourself and your loved ones
We are not trying to create the best distance learning program, we are trying to support families in a time of a global crisis creating massive upheaval in people’s lives.
- This means we need to be even more responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable.
- Get the latest #WeAreCarmelunified updates from superintendent Barb Dill-Varga
- Emphasize “care over content”
- Give students something to think about and foster connections (see Dan Meyers’ post)
- Provide structure, schedule, and normalcy for those that need it while being flexible to those that cannot participate fully.
Three powerful tools for getting information to students are Moodle, Google Classroom, and Hapara Teacher Dashboard. You should use one of these as your starting place for students. Start with Google Classroom if you have never used these much.
Moodle – The most powerful and commonly used online learning tool in the world
- Getting Started Site
- Does your page need a refresh or new layout to make it more clear?
- Many teacher prefer the Collapsed Topics or Grid format
- Use the announcement forum to send all students an email
- Moodle has a tool for everything: discussion forum, quiz with auto grading and really easy essay question grading, TurnItIn assignments for collecting and grading digital work.
- Adding due dates to activities in Moodle adds to the class calendar. All student course calendars are joined together on the student dashboard page so they can see work across all classes very easily.
Classroom – The easiest way to grade google docs online
- Getting Started Site
- Classes can be created right from your aeries dashboard page next to the gradebook summary. Just click Add/Edit Website.
- Invite coaches/support teachers to be teachers on your page so we can see and support
- Adding due dates to activities in Moodle adds to the class Google calendar.
Hapara Teacher Dashboard – Send google docs to student folders
- Getting Started Site
- Use this tool to push out documents (great if you have a central google doc calendar or instructions slide show.
- This tool shows your whole class and each student’s last time editing the files in your class folder. This can help you know who is not engaging in class work and who has new work for feedback.
Aeries – Gradebook used by all 6-12 grade teachers
- Add a website to your Aeries gradebook that points to the moodle page, website, document, folder, presentation that has the up to date class calendar/homework.
- Pre-posting assignments with future due dates can really help students plan and manage their work.
- Make sure your assignment names match the name in the instructions and the name of the files students are using
Since you don’t see your students every day, you need to use tools to maintain your relationships and clarify instructions. There are two great options for emailing all students, instructions for how to use your personal phone, and instructions on Zoom and Meet, the two very popular video chat rooms.
Email, Phone Calls, Texts
- Aeries instructions for all parents/students
- Teacher Dashboard class emails for each class. You can find the class email address by going to the Class Info tab. Also CMS and CHS teachers were emailed their lists on Friday 3/27/20
- Language Line Directions
- Options for placing phone calls
- Remind is an app/website that lets you safely text students/parents without revealing numbers
- Create a chat activity in Moodle
Video conferencing – Zoom and Meet
Zoom is the preferred option, but Google Meet can be easier to learn. Make sure that your settings include the waiting room on and that participants can’t share their screens unless you are working with a small group of students.
My experience with running meetings with 30+ students has proven that Zoom is the best choice for three key features: the non-verbal feedback (raising hand, yes/no, thumbs up/thumbs down), breakout rooms, and being able to mute all participants at once.– Darcey Rambach CMS Language Arts teacher and Master Zoomologist
- A guide on how to run a successful class meeting online (prepared by Jen Martin at Tular)
- Privacy and security considerations
Google Meet is the quickest and easiest video tool for teachers and students. Find it in the waffle menu. This used to be called Hangouts and they recently changed it so some instructions refer to Hangouts/Meet
Moodle Quizzes, TurnItIn assignments, and Google Classroom give you tools to assess student learning and provide feedback. For student Google Docs the comments or the suggesting feature are great feedback tools. Also Kami and Kaizena are useful extensions for digital feedback.
- Create assignments and insert a google document, form, slide, video, or link.
- Quickly grade digital assignments and export into Aeries
- Every activity can have a grade and export to Aeries
- Quizzes with question banks, secure browser, auto-grading text with wildcards, and randomly generated math questions
- TurnItIn Assignments (plagiarism checking and great digital grading with re-usable quickmark comments) – also has built in audio feedback
- Google Assignments allows for grading like Classroom within Moodle
- Structured peer grading – anonymous grading with rubrics, students can be given a grade for the quality of their peer feedback (using TurnItIn Peermark or Moodle Workshop)
Google Docs Comments and Suggestions
- Google docs comments are digital sticky notes that students can reply to. Students also get an email that you made comments.
- Use Suggesting mode like MS Word’s track changes. Directly correct/annotate the student document in line. The student can then easily accept the corrections or reject them if they are advice/tips.
Kami for writing on pdfs and images
- Use this extension to write on student images and pdfs
Kaizena for quick audio feedback
- Use this extension to easily give audio feedback
Simple Video in Moodle (and Audio)
Simple to use for the teacher anywhere and also for students in a forum.
Screencastify and WeVideo
Record your screen and/or your webcam. When you finish, the video is ready to share with students. Processing has taken up to a few hours with increased demand.
One of the challenges of distance learning is you lose the quick checks for understanding you can do when you present information in class. Also students can get more distracted from watching videos and reading powerpoints/documents. These tools help you see what students are understanding and keep them engaged. They also allow for students to practice with feedback.
Kahoot – quick and social quizzes
- Kahoot lets you create fun, competitive quizzes. Usually it is used synchronously but there are also Kahoot challenges you can assign for asynchronous practice. You can play a demo game and learn the features of Kahoot here.
Quizlet – Online flashcards you can assign
- Students started using Quizlet first on their own so you know it is a good site. Learn how you can assign practice with this series of short videos and it even has a fun competitive team game mode, Quizlet Live. You could use Zoom breakout rooms for your teams.
Guided Google Docs Online Learning For Educators
- A full learning pathway for the effective use of Google tools for teachers. You can use these trainings to become certified. You can pick a particular tool from the home page or click the list below:
- Alice Keeler has lots of blog posts on using Google tools for teachers. Search looooooooong list of posts for the tool you want to learn more about.
There are a wealth of sites that have instructional content for distance and independent learning. Many of them are adaptive so that students get targeted instruction. Some allow for you to create a teacher/tutor account to monitor student progress as well.
Classlink – A collection of all the website subscriptions the district has. Used extensively in elementary already.
- Single login portal so that students don’t need to remember passwords.
- Access online social studies textbooks, math and reading practice, and easy links to websites
- First time login with the ADFS link using your school account
Khan Academy – The most video tutorials and practice quizzes around
- They have a teacher help page full of tutorials.
- They have series of webinars which they are running every day for current school closures. You can watch the recordings here.
- They even created some daily schedules for families.
eBooks and Library Resources
- CHS library database page with a clear menu of what databases are good for different types of research
- CHS library ebooks page with links to:
- Sora/Overdrive – ebooks and audiobooks, login with your school google account
- Learning Ally – Audio books to support learners with accommodations
- River School library website with links to Tumblebooks and EPIC e-books
More Great Resources
- NewsEla – Articles that can be scaled to lexile reading levels with comprehension quizzesThey are offering full access for free for this school year.
- ck-12 – always free, customizable textbooks and quizzes for math and science
- You use individual pages, videos, and quizzes or you can sign up as a class and guide student progress.
- Albert.io – giant bank of online quizzes, specializing in AP but now with content for middle school and non-ap high school
- Wonderopolis – hundreds of thousands of wonders/questions answered in engaging articles and reading comprehension/vocab quizzes
- Common Sense Media has a list of great sites by grade level.