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The year 2020 has been an educational “strange new world,” and today, many school districts have shifted or are shifting to online learning.
This new way of learning could increase efficiency and course productivity. It would also make available onlie tools such as video clips, interactive components for students, blogs, and gamification, that uses elements of game playing.
Benefits of online learning
In a Texas Computer Education Association (tcea.org) blog, Luke Smith offers some advise.
“One of the most important skills you can teach young people is how to better manage their time and avoid distractions to get their work done.”
These skills are important in both brick-and-mortar and virtual classrooms as well as post-school life,” he said.
For the Houston Independent School District (HISD), virtual schooling will start Sept. 8.
The opportunity for teachers to use online tools is exciting.
Guidance for parents
“As more and more children are adapting to learning from home, it’s important to establish healthy routines so kids can keep their spirits up and their head in the game,” said Sarah Ferguson, senior editor for content and social media, UNICEF USA (unicefusa.org).
The HISD’s Instructional Continuity Plan provides the following guidance for parents to make learning at home consistent and meaningful:
Learning at home can be a balancing act. Establishing a routine will help students be more successful in their learning.
Provide an appropriate learning space for the students when possible.
Communicate any instructional needs to the campus such as a lack of device or internet connection as defined in the campus communication plan.
Consistently monitor campus and district communications for continuous updates via callouts and websites.
Maintain communication with teachers as needed.
Connect with your student every day at a time that works well for your household. This might be a quick check-in a few times a day or a longer check-in during morning or evening hours.
Monitor student’s time on tasks and encourage physical activity and/or exercise.
“Many students seem to be very comfortable with technology and with exploring academic avenues in a virtual environment that they may not explore in the classroom,” stated the Houston Independent School District (HISD) Press Office.
“Teachers are encouraged to leverage students’ technological skills within their fessons for authentic learning experiences that may have
been chatlengmg previously.
“Virtual field lessons built into an online instruction can expose students to concepts and places overseas within a purposeful educational context. “For example, how cool is it to take students inside an Egyptian pyramid within a social studies lesson?”
The HISD Press Office stated that one of the advantages of online learning is the ability for teachers to record live lessons that students can access once the lesson is over.
In a traditional setting, if a student is absent, they lose the gift of being part of the original lesson.
With online learning, the student can access the recording and replay it to capture thoughts and explanations they may have missed the first time.
and work at their own pace.