December 16, 2020

Tips and tricks to make your hybrid classroom feel more organized: Location, location, location of Digital Learning (part 1 of 3)

Julie Jensen

Learning and Innovation Manager

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If your classroom is organized and you have a plan (hybrid or face-to-face), you can focus less on the current teaching challenges and more on teaching. 

Hybrid learning has created a radical plot twist in the way we teach our students.  As teachers are settling into the new norm for this school year, a lot of changes are occurring, resulting in a fast-forward for all of us into an increasingly complex digital world.  The ISTE Standards for educators started in 1998 with a goal of developing lifelong learners.  By using a common framework among education leaders, educators, and students, technology focuses on lifelong skills to benefit our learners.

woman typing on a laptop

A Bit of Reflection

Reflecting on the ISTE Standards for your education area, I’m sure you can’t help but be proud of the lifelong skills you have already developed for yourself as well as your students.  For example:  How well are your students prepared for the real possibility of a virtual job interview?  Can your students work collaboratively with team members who are geographically not in the same location?  Have your students demonstrated their creative, unique personalities by adding their own clever additions to virtual classroom meetings? What are the chances your students would have had this authentic experience and developed these lifelong, employable skills in a traditional classroom?  

I remember an instructor of mine once saying, “with change is chaos.”  As the shock and the dust of this chaotic situation is starting to settle, let’s look at some simple ways to refine what you are doing to match the hybrid setting.  If your classroom is organized and you have a plan (hybrid or face-to-face), you can focus less on the current teaching challenges and more on teaching. 

Location, location, location of Digital Learning

  • Where do your students (and parents) find the location of your learning?  
  • If students have multiple teachers/classes, where do they find all of them?

Archimedes was a famous mathematician in Ancient Greece who said, “The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.”  With that in mind, how straight is the line (and clicks) for students to arrive at their digital learning space?  Some districts have purchased Learning Management Systems to serve this purpose and others have taken advantage of the complexity of G-Suite for Education. Imagine this being the straight path to learning for your students:

  1. Go to the school staff page
  2. Click on the link to the teacher’s Google Site. The Google Site is a public location that is two-fold, providing student access while also helping parents stay informed. 
    1. If students have multiple teachers, they return to the staff page and locate the next teacher.  
    2. If parents have multiple children in the school, they do the same.  
    3. If parents have multiple children, but in different schools, they can go to each staff page to find each teacher’s digital platform.
  3. On the Google Site, teachers can include a link to Google Classroom.  This links to the private digital learning areas for teachers with their students. 

Suggested Kincaid IT Courses

  • Launch Your Online Classroom 
  • Updating and Revamping Your Digital Classroom
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