How teachers are taking lessons learned from a virtual school back to class

Over the past 18 months, teachers across the country have learned how to adapt their learning to the online learning environment; To meet the needs of all students, they had to rethink their content.

Digital Promise recently spoke with teachers at Lone Star Middle School in Idaho, Nampa HP Spotlight School. HP Spotlights are part of the school Reorganize the class initiative, Digital Promise, collaboration between HP, Microsoft and Intel Powerful teaching With technology. Thanks to district-provided HP laptops and digital hotspots, learning at Lone Star never stopped during the entire epidemic. Now, teachers are preparing to re-take lessons learned during virtual learning.



Lesson 1: Creating on-demand content makes learning easier

To meet the needs of students in a virtual setting, many teachers began creating their own digital content. Aaron Moiso, a pre-engineering and robotics teacher, explains, “I started creating short video lessons to teach students different concepts. I will have instructions on how to assemble different parts and different gear systems and then do it at home. Some time ago, Moiso discovered that he had created a useful video library in any situation. “Students can re-enter [the videos] When they need to be taught again. Given the needs of those children who need a quick refresh on the concept taught to them, I feel free to be able to spend more time going beyond where they are now. ”

Ben McCrae, a social studies teacher, had a similar experience: “I’ve learned to make things available by recording, screencasting, and later capturing something.” This is especially valuable for content that is not available in other digital resources. Says McCrae, “I have information about the Punic Wars and Hannibal that is not available in the textbook. I’ve just studied a lot. “In a face-to-face environment, those recordings make learning easier for absent students. I can upload them to the Microsoft team and if they miss a day, they can go back and the kids who are there that day can have the same experience.”


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Lesson 2: Technology is as much a means of connection as it is of learning

The main concern of teachers, parents and students during virtual learning is the possibility of missing relationships. Using Microsoft Teams, teachers at Lone Star explored ways to help grow relationships. Olivia Pecora, a special education teacher, explains, “I checked with the students every day just to see, ‘Do you want anything? Can i help you ‘It really helped me stay connected to them, so that when we came back in the fall, literally and eventually hybridized, the students knew I was there for them. For Aaron Moiso and his students, being online created more personal connections: “I had more than one interaction instead of a full class. Some students found it really helpful. Even now, students will contact me online and we will do one-on-one sessions. ”

Lone Star’s teachers created relationships across the student body by organizing Virtual Spirit Week using Flipgrid. Questions were posted throughout the day and students were able to respond and interact. Social studies teacher Morgan Keane reflects on these benefits: “It helped students connect with each other and get some relief from the camera on their device that prompted them to suddenly join the class. With Flipgrid, different shots were allowed to be taken and retried, filters were added, making it more comfortable for students to do what they were told to do. Morgan also explains how the student ambassadors who helped plan Spirit Week used the Microsoft team: “I learned that if we give students the opportunity to be leaders, they’ll take that opportunity and run with it.” They were sharing files with each other. They were asking each other questions. I hope that next year it will apply not only to student ambassadors but also to my own class. ”


Lone Star’s Virtual Spirit Week made possible by Flipgrid.

Lesson 3: Student agency now supports commitment and builds skills for the future

During virtual learning, teachers discovered new ways to keep students engaged – discovering the importance of student agency. 6th grade science teacher Ariel Shoenhuth reveals, “What I learned this year is that students want a reason and that reason should come from them, not from me. You get more buys when you give them project-based learning and the opportunity to actually create something and bring it into the world. You teach them yourself, you teach each other, and sometimes they teach me how to do things. This is very powerful for them. ”

Authentic and challenging learning experiences help students Create mental habits for the future. Lone Star’s instructional coach Drew Williams says, “More important than anything else, students developed ways to manage their learning process. Students always need skills to handle their work and work with each other. Give kids a choice of where they want to go and how they are going to create a product that shows what they know. Give them space where they can work at their own pace and give teacher support and targeted feedback. Not just when we’re online, and not when we’re in a hybrid environment. These are skills that we will transfer in the coming academic year and in any format we use for learning. ”

As we move into the new academic year, we will continue to practice the lessons we have learned, reflecting on the challenges we have just passed. We all need to make learning easier. We are committed to establishing personal connections in a learning environment. And we should try to empower our students by creating their own unique learning journey charts.

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