COVID-19 Resources for Educators
Learning at a DISTANCE Guidance
A largely teacher-written effort to help address the immediate needs of staff who must address the immediate needs of children – at a distance – during a pandemic. This document seeks to help ALL districts improve learning at a distance: those with lots, some, and little technology.
MACUL Guidelines for Helping Classroom Teachers Transition to Online Learning
Teaching online is difficult and challenging work. Nobody can learn to teach and learn well online in a couple of days, weeks or even months. As the nation asks our face to face educators to transition to an online format, MACUL is providing some guidelines to consider so that these new online classes are equitable and continue to provide a free and fair education for all students.
MACUL also recognizes that it is a stressful time for teachers, students and families and hopes to help alleviate some of the stress with these guidelines.
The leaders at MACUL are experts in education technology and many aspects of online learning, they share their advice in the guidelines below.
Full STEAM Ahead
Full STEAM Ahead is a collection of resources that MIT is putting together for teaching and learning online. These are meant as a rapid response to the need for online resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will curate existing resources for K-12, higher education, and workforce learners, as well as provide a weekly package of relevant materials for K-12 students and teachers. You can find these resources:
K-12 Learning Packages:
Each week they will provide a "package" for K-12 teachers and learners. The package will be a thematic set of videos, resources and online/offline activities for different grades.
They have collected a set of STEAM related resources that have been created for the K-12 community that parents, teachers, and students can use right now. They provide a curated set of growing resources.
With MIT OpenCourseWare and MITx on edX, students and teachers can freely access materials and complete courses from across the entire MIT curriculum.
Workforce Learning Resources:
MIT has been dedicated to creating online learning resources for workforce learning. They will provide a set of current and useful resources for adults related to workforce learning (coming soon).
Learning From Anywhere: Resources for eLearning
Check out this Padlet full of Resources for eLearning curated by the NIU STEAM Team. NIU STEAM is made up of programs and people committed to providing activities that spark curiosity, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.
Focused on exploring science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics, NIU STEAM has something for everyone--whether you're a student, teacher, parent or member of the community!
Return 2 Learning Toolkit for Teachers from REMC
Whether you’re teaching in-person, online, or a combination of both, the REMC Association of Michigan created this Return 2 Learning Toolkit for Teachers. Click for the full news article.
Learn how to use, reuse, revise and remix Open Educational Resources [Free Courses]
Explore the benefits of REMC’s free monthly Virtual Courses [Free Courses]
Explore the benefits of REMC's free monthly Virtual Courses [Video]
Enroll in classes designed to support Virtual Teaching & Learning [Free Courses]
Digital Citizenship Toolkit [One-page Explainer]
Media Literacy Toolkit [One-page Explainer]
Media Literacy Toolkit [Video]
Presentation Skills Toolkit [One-page Explainer]
Top Tips for Virtual Learning
This two-part article from our friends in the Iowa STEM Network shares tips and best practices from their Scale-Up Program and are offered as a resource to help equip others with the tools, resources and strategies to be as effective as possible.
Part 1: Strategies for Engagement
- Develop primary objectives for the audience to keep the sessions short and structured.
- Identify a user-friendly platform that best meets your needs. Consider an option that is accessible on any device. Attending a virtual training should be a positive experience and this requires the right platform and setup. If there are any applications, software or hardware that need to be learned, factor in time to provide instruction.
- Encourage participants to have their video on to see faces. Begin with a participatory activity that encourages creativity. At the beginning of the session, describe the different ways that you will be asking them to participate.
- Educators and students may not have access to classrooms, labs and equipment. Look for ways to work around this, such as the use of household materials.
- If you have an activity that works really well in a face to face setting, find a way to modify and adapt it to a virtual setting. Be creative and think about items and materials in new and innovative ways.
- Try mixing up the activities done while learning synchronously and provide asynchronous activities to allow for a break and flexibility during the day. This offers the opportunity to learn offline, take care of needs and come back a bit refreshed.
- Allow time for passive work time. This is when participants are still on the virtual call and have time to work on their own. The facilitator is available for questions or support if needed. This will also reduce the amount of time that participants are looking at a screen during your time together.
- Whenever possible, have a dedicated person to support the virtual environment, so the facilitator can focus on facilitating and the support person can handle letting people in to the session, sharing links to resources, watching for questions in the chat, setting up breakout rooms and managing other needs that may arise.
Part 2: Methods of Communication
- Share necessary information well enough in advance of the session.
- Set expectations early on. Something will probably go wrong, so share that everyone is in this together and we'll recover from mishaps to make sure learning is still happening.
- Address the realities of the current circumstances. Demonstrate examples of how to use materials now and discuss what implementation looks like in their specific situation. Don’t just present for ‘when things go back to normal’.
- Try to limit the number of technology tools used to no more than three to reduce the cognitive load of learning new content and potentially new tools. Choose tools that help engage participants and that are accessible after the lesson or meeting.
- Provide a contact phone number for participants who may have additional questions or needs.
- Allow extra wait time - more time than one might use in a face to face scenario. It has the effect of giving audience think time, as well as to navigate that uncertainty about who should go next that arises virtually in the absence of body cues.
- During synchronous meeting time, try to engage people in different ways. Some participants enjoy talking in a large group, while others prefer smaller breakout groups for discussion. Additional support times and social connections such as a morning "coffee hour" allows an opportunity for participants to ask questions or get additional help with something outside of the larger group.
- Record sessions for reference afterwards, if appropriate, for participants who may have had technology or Internet access problems.
- For additional assistance outside the lesson or meeting, other methods may include webinars, office hours, increased community access, blog post series, email, social media, conferencing platforms and direct mail to send hands on materials to use during the session.
- Encourage feedback from the participants and use asynchronous times to make adjustments to their needs and requests. Consider anonymous surveys to get feedback before and after a lesson or meeting.
The following program providers contributed to this two-part story:
- Rashonda Carroll, Hand2Mind
- Samantha Dahlby, NewBoCo
- Amanda Gentry, Project Lead The Way
- Dan Meyer, Desmos
- Jolie Pelds, Science Center of Iowa
Updated: Free Resources for Schools During COVID-19 Outbreak
THE Journal has compiled a list of education technology companies that have stepped forward to help educators reach students in virtual ways. In many cases, the companies are making their paid services free through the rest of the school year; in other cases, they're lifting limits to services and/or adding premium features to what's free. Click here to see the full list (updated on 09/14/20).
What Schools Can Do to Build Trust: Advice From Parents
Education Week asked parents, some of whom are advocates in their communities, what advice they would give to school leaders that would help their families navigate the 2020-21 school year. Click here for a downloadable guide.
E-Learning Overload: 8 Tips Educators Can Give Frustrated, Anxious Parents
It's safe to say administrators and teachers aren't the only ones feeling overwhelmed amid school closures and the worsening coronavirus outbreak. Parents are also bearing the brunt. Education Week has put together some tips that educators can give parents as the pandemic plays out. Click here for the full list of tips.
Teach from Home Website from Google
To support the hundreds of millions of students and educators currently facing school closures, Google for Education is introducing Teach from Home—a hub providing information, tips, training and tools to help remote teaching and learning.
GOOGLE CLASSROOM ACCESS VIA PS4 OR XBOX
Does your student own an Xbox or a PS4? TIP: Students can use their PS4 or Xbox web browsers to log into their Google classrooms if they DO NOT have computers at home, click for instructions
Free Distance Tutoring Tool: GoBoard.com
Goboard.com is a free distance tutoring tool. GoBoard combines video conferencing with an interactive canvas, designed to help students collaborate one-on-one, on virtually any topic. Simply create a GoBoard, share the link, and begin sharing knowledge, face-to-face.
What is it?
The New York Times article: Zoombombing: When Video Conferences Go Wrong explains how trolls of the internet are under quarantine, too, and they’re looking for Zooms to disrupt.
Explore some settings and best practices to help you address Zoombombing in your class. For additional information, please review this article from Forbes on Tips for Making Virtual Meetings More Secure!
There's No Single Right Way to Do Distance Learning
John Spencer, speaks, "...the truth is, there's no single "right" way to do distance learning. We are all experimenting. Teaching is deeply contextual and each class has its own needs and strengths and challenges".
The FREE Mini-MOOC on Remote Teaching from Michigan State University focuses on high-priority, digestible topics with the intent of applying them to practice tomorrow. The Master of Arts in Educational Technology Program is honored to support the amazing work that educators are doing around the world as they transition to a range of remote teaching contexts. Because educators are teaching across a range of remote teaching contexts, we include no-tech, low-tech, and high-tech strategies throughout the experience.
Unit 1: Norms, foundations, trauma-informed teaching
Unit 2: Teacher and student well-being, creating routines
Unit 3: Basic accessibility practices for text and media
Unit 4: Fair use, copyright, and Creative Commons
Unit 5: Communication, presence, and community-building
Unit 6: Learning experience design structures
Unit 7: Engagement and Universal Design for Learning
Unit 8: Assessment, feedback, and evaluation
The Mini-MOOC is a self-paced learning experience. Join this global, dynamic community to explore, create, and share today!
Transitioning to Remote Learning (Free Online PD Series for K-12 Educators)
These free PD courses are 2 SCECHs each and designed to help you transition to remote learning. You can pick topics that best fit your needs, including: getting started, communicating online, using digital content, creating digital assessments, adapting to meet student needs, and providing SEL supports. Register for free
Online SCECHs for Certificate Renewal
The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has been receiving questions regarding online professional learning resources available for educators to use for recertification.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Michigan’s State Continuing Education Clock Hour (SCECH) program sponsors are temporarily offering free and low-cost professional learning options that qualify for certificate renewal and progression.
To make these resources easier to find, MDE has developed this curated list, which will be updated regularly.
Start Engineering Resources
As a new, unique school year gets under way, we'd like to offer encouragement and appreciation to educators, parents, and the STEM community in general for everyone's effort and creativity towards making the days work in all the different forms school is taking right now.
As part of our ongoing efforts to serve educators' and learners' needs in these times of virtual, at-home, or distanced learning, we have been developing and adapting our content to digital formats and platforms.
One thing that means is that, as of last month, we have a YouTube channel! Click to subscribe, if you're interested.
We have produced and posted videos with both informational and educational purposes. The video to the right, for example, gives an overview of CyberCAP, the cyber career awareness program we launched this summer that serves both in-person and virtual learning needs.
And we have also produced videos offering instruction for educators in both using CyberCAP and more generally teaching cybersecurity to middle and high school students. More videos on other topics are in line for production, too; our next topic will be elementary engineering education, for example.
GUIDE FOR CS PRINCIPLES TEACHERS DURING SCHOOL CLOSURES
As more schools close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Code.org classrooms are moving to using our CS Principles curriculum in a virtual setting. This page is where they will be sharing updates, resources, and guidance on how to continue to support your students in that context.
3 WAYS TO INTEGRATE COMPUTER SCIENCE INTO YOUR COVID-19 PLANNING
With almost 5 million students’ education being impacted indefinitely across the United States, CSforALL has recommended ways Computer Science can transition and support your child’s learning at home. Click here for their recommendations.
Career Exploration Resources for Remote Learning
Online, printable and downloadable career-exploration resources for parents and teachers to support at-home learning for students in grade K-12.
Wonder-Filled K-5 Science in Padlet
This weekly plan includes three “wonder-filled” activities for K-5 students and families to engage with together that promote connection, wonder, play, and ‘figuring out’!
Virtual Science Education
The Virtual Science Education page of the Phenomena for NGSS website has some resources, initially one elementary, one middle school, & high school, to provide possible alternatives for student engagement over the next couple of weeks.
3M "Science at Home" Online Learning Resource
3M’s “Science at Home” is a free online video content series that currently holds 12 experiments with 14 more in the works -- each featuring a 3M scientist, engineer, or a special guest performing a simple experiment that follows the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) used by many U.S. states to measure science-related education. All experiments are designed for children ages 6-12 and are easily replicated using commonly found household items. Click here to read more.
Math Recovery - Free Resources for PK-5
The MiSTEM Network in collaboration with the U.S. Math Recovery Council has provided access to FREE resources designed to support PK – 5 students, parents, teachers, and professional learning facilitators as they navigate educating in the time of COVID-19. Math Recovery® empowers educators to use diagnostic assessments and learning trajectories to implement effective teaching and learning of mathematics in the elementary grades. With support from grant funds from the MiSTEM Advisory Council, Math Recovery® trained teachers receive a one-year FREE membership extension as well as access to up to 6-slide decks to facilitate virtual instruction. Parents and Michigan educators can access grade-level aligned math resources as well.
Please visit www.swmistem.org/math to find more information about how to access the resources. You will find:
- FREE Parent and Educator PK – 5 math resources
- A recording of the Launch event from 9/29/20
- A link to the attached document with directions on how to access Math Recovery resources through MR Connect.
Resources from Student Achievement Partners (SAP) and St. Clair RESA
The Coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to make decisions that we would not otherwise have to under normal conditions, such as face-to-face, hybrid or totally online instruction; synchronous v. asynchronous – to name a few. It may also force us to also examine the content that we are able to teach this year. To help with these decisions, Student Achievement Partners (SAP) has created documents to give guidance to teachers and school curriculum directors on how to prioritize the teaching of mathematical content this year. The 2020-21 Support for Instructional Content in ELA/Literacy and Mathematics gives guidance to K-8 teachers by grade level and the 2020-21 Support for Instructional Prioritization in High School Mathematics gives advice to teachers of secondary mathematics courses, whether organized by subject or integrated.
In an effort to make these documents more user-friendly to teachers, the math consultants at St. Clair RESA takes the SAP documents and adds links to resources that teachers will find helpful in teaching the mathematical standards.
- The K-8 Document, Important Prerequisite Math Standards with Resources contains links to free virtual manipulatives for most grade level content standards and the prerequisites standards contains resource links for reteaching.
- The high school document, Resources for the 2020-21 Support for Instructional Prioritization in High School Mathematics is a spreadsheet that contains links to units, lesson plans and meaningful tasks for standards which the SAP document identify as priority or reduced emphasis standards. It also identifies standards aligned to the PSAT and SAT as given in the College Board + Michigan SAT Suite of Assessments: Alignment to Michigan Standards document. The tabs for Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 are complete. The Integrated Math 1, 2 and 3 will be completed soon.
We hope that MCTM members will find these documents helpful as they navigate through this difficult year.
Jim Licht, Laura Chambless, & Minna Turrell, St. Clair RESA