SAIL teachers share experience, advice for successful remote learning

Virtual and remote learning are new to the world of education and increasingly more crucial in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Schools all around the world are utilizing remote learning, hybrid schedules, and virtual classes in order to limit the spread of the virus. McNick is back full-time in person, but students still have the opportunity to tune into classes remotely in the circumstance that they are quarantining or are sick themselves.

With this new style of learning, there are bound to be some challenges learning behind a computer screen. SAIL department chair Renee Herndon stated that the biggest challenge she’s seen so far with students learning remotely is the lack of engagement. “I think some of them feel a little left out… they’re just watching from afar. They might not be put in a group or maybe the teacher’s showing the board and they’re not getting to see [it]. It’s just really hard for them to feel like they’re a part of the class.” Herndon added that in order to make remote learning a success students need to have clear expectations as well as ownership. “There needs to be ownership on the students; they might have to work a little bit harder to be engaged.”

SAIL teacher Val Combs said, “This is the year for students to step up… they have to go the extra mile if they’re remote.” Both Herndon and Combs agree that with remote learning “communication is key.” Combs added that “[Students] have to have the maturity and discipline to do [their] work when the teacher’s not watching.”

Even if students are fully remote, they are still responsible for turning in assignments and following tasks. Though possibly easier to learn in the comfort of one’s home, the academic standard should ideally stay the same.

More tips for making remote learning a success:

Do not do schoolwork in bed!

The brain associates beds with sleeping, which can diminish focus and energy.

Just as one would come in early or stay after school for extra help, remote students can still request Microsoft Teams meetings with teachers

As Combs and Herndon both stated above, communication is key. Being fully remote is not an excuse to not get work done. Teachers are always available by Teams chat and email if expectations are unclear.

Patience. This is new territory for both students and teachers. Everyone is still trying to learn how this all works.

Self-advocacy. Students need to speak up if a teacher isn’t sharing their screen or other technical difficulties are going on that is interfering with their learning.

Limit distractions. This includes phones, tvs, pets, siblings, etc. Make sure the learning environment you are in encourages success.

What tips do you have for a successful remote learning experience? Share your answers here!

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