The COVID-19 pandemic is sweeping the nation, and schools are closing their doors. Many teachers are being asked to restructure all their curriculum for online learning. If you’ve never taught an online course before, the shift can be difficult to manage. We know many of you are asking, “Where do I go from here?”
You don’t have to find your path through this alone. Certiport is here to help! This week, we’ll be publishing a series of webinars and blog posts that highlight our learning products, and how you can use them to help your students in this new distance learning environment.
Before we dive into the individual programs, we wanted to offer four tips on how to teach online. We asked our 2019 CERTIFIED Educator of the Year, Jennifer Stubblefield, for advice to share with all of you. Here are her top four tips for distance learning success:
- Keep Things Visual: Make a visual schedule to share with your students.
Trust me, it’ll be crucial for your sanity and theirs. Ask them to print it, post it, tape it up visually so they can refer to it constantly. I created a day by day schedule, so all my students know what assignment they should be working on, and the deadline for submission. Remember, you are not their only teacher, so don’t overwhelm them with too many deadlines to memorize.
- Be Careful with Pre-Made Lessons: Never send a lesson to your students to do if you haven’t done it yourself. “Canned” or “pre-made online” lessons may not be as easy to follow as you think they are. From a teacher’s point of view, it may seem simple. But what about your students? This is a time to become the student. Do the lesson. Go through the video trainings. Take the quizzes. With firsthand experience, you’ll know what problems your kids may run into, especially online lessons.
- Keep It Brief: Do not, I repeat, do not overwhelm your kids with long, overdrawn emails. Let’s be honest, they won’t read them. Do we adults read all the long emails that we get during the day? Of course not! Keep your communication succinct. Emails should be short! Use bulleted lists and graphical organizers like SmartArt to help show the correct order to work in.
- Be Flexible with Different Internet Strengths: Not all your students will have an awesome Wi-Fi connection at home. This is a time to get creative! Are there hot-spots throughout your community that your students could drive to, grab a Mountain Dew and a snickers and sit safely inside their vehicle while doing your work on the hot spots? For some students, this may be their only option. Do the homework, find out about them, and pass the word!
You’re here to help your kids tackle problems, both in your class and in the world. The COVID crisis is a problem we’re all solving together. Lean on the tools you have and get creative with new resources. Make sure to stay connected to the blog, and check out the recorded webinars trainings from our learning products partners here.