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Your Career• 3 Min read

25th September 2020

Ideas For Stress-Free Remote Learning

As the world situation changes, schools in the UK are adapting to new regulations and developing new processes as they go.  One of the issues facing teachers is how to offer remote learning to pupils that aren’t in the classroom.

Offering remote or ‘blended’ learning solutions hasn’t been a major part of the curriculum before, so this is new territory for schools, teachers and pupils – getting it right and maintaining your own wellbeing is a fine balance!

What Is Remote Learning?

Remote, distant or blended learning is an education strategy based primarily on online coursework, with varying levels of additional one-on-one support from a tutor. Lots of online learning platforms such as the Open University have offered blended learning with a great deal of success, and parents have been using private online tutors to support their child’s learning needs for years in the UK. Having said that, for the majority of primary and secondary teachers, planning blended learning might be a first, Here are our top 10 tips to make an impactful start!

Get The Basics Right

You’ll need some basic technology to begin teaching students who are away from the classroom. A laptop that can easily be transported is essential, and you’ll also need to plan what streams of communication you are going to use with your students – test some out and find out what works for you before implementing it if you have time! 

  1. Video Chat – Skype and Google Hangouts are very similar applications that allow individual and group chat – your school may already be using Google Classroom and Hangouts integrates extremely well.
  2. Virtual Whiteboard – Check out this list of great virtual whiteboards for teachers. If you have a tablet, a virtual whiteboard application should allow you to interact within documents with your class too.
  3. Screen Recording – Record your lessons to use again, or share with absent pupils. There are some great free suggestions for teachers here!
  4. Video production – If you are teaching from home, set up a suitable area to record yourself.

Safeguarding

Connecting with your pupils through technology means it’s important to protect yourself. Make sure you have appropriate protections in place that allow you to communicate privately with your pupils and protect you from hacking attempts, speak to your school if you aren’t sure how to implement this. Make sure you protect your online identity too – this guide by ICO has specific information on how to take control of your social media privacy settings. Your school should regularly refresh and upskill your safeguarding knowledge. There are also a lot of free courses you can take online to keep your knowledge in this vital topic fresh. Our CPD partners creative education have an amazing online portal full of video training sessions on a range of topics, including safeguarding. Find out more here.

 

Help Pupils Stay Connected

One key objective of blended learning is to keep pupils connected to schools and to their education. Collaborating on online projects, video chats and getting home learners involved in games and grouped activities will all help pupils away from school to feel part of the school community

TRACK PROGRESS

Whilst this isn’t the time for rigid assessment strategies, it’s important to keep tabs on your pupils progress whether they are at home or in class.  There are some fantastic apps for teachers many of which have been adopted school-wide to offer teachers a way of tracking pupil progress without excess paperwork. Classroom Monitor is a popular option but ask your school if they have a recommendation. It may seem like extra work now but monitoring and keeping a record of student progress will save time in the future when planning intervention for pupils that are struggling.

Focus On Retention And Recall

A great tip we have seen online from teachers already offering remote learning is to put the focus of your teaching on recapping knowledge that you’ve already taught – allowing deeper exploration of a topic will reinforce pupils understanding (and reduce the time you spend planning new lessons!)

MAKE IT FUN

Since you are going to be jostling for their attention along with any number of other tabs or home-based distractions, it’s important to make lessons engaging and fun. Maximise the opportunity to use technology in new ways, and take a look at this list of great games for teachers to play with their remote students

Bring In New Faces

Teaching online means you have an entire world of experiences, opinions and learning at everyone’s fingertips! Set up remote calls to schools in your home town, make a project out of learning how different things are there (or how similar!), connect with pupils at home in other year groups or ask an expert outside of school (anywhere in the world!) to record a short lesson on their subject.

Use What’s Out There

There are lots of education-focused Youtube videos and websites that can help take some of the pressure off teachers when looking for activities for their class to take part in. We love Joe Wick’s short PE videos (we love this Batman-themed one for younger children), or how about a maths lesson from Carol Vorderman?

Look After Yourself

We know teachers already have a lot on their plates, and adding in a completely new way of teaching isn’t going to lighten the load! If you need some support, don’t be afraid to reach out to colleagues or your mentor. Education Support also have a fantastic helpline specifically for teachers – find out more about them and how they can support you here.

Looking for more remote learning ideas?

We’ve got lots of exciting, educational and creative ways to teach pupils remotely on our Pinterest board!

 

 

 

 

 

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