In person and remotely: Prepare to switch from one to the other without too much trouble

Hybrid education is a combination of in-person and distance education. Did you know that it is possible to prepare now for such a need? Here are 6 tracks!

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Hybrid education is a combination of in-person and distance education. Did you know that it is possible to prepare now for such a need? Here are some leads!

The hybrid model is when teaching takes place partly in the classroom and partly at a distance. We can then use a videoconferencing platform such as Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams so that everyone can receive “masterful” teaching at the same time. Still, experts are discouraged from wanting to simply replicate the traditional model in this way. So what else can we do?

In an article published by Common Sense Education, teacher Paul Barnwell offers 6 things to consider to prepare your class to switch from face-to-face teaching to distance learning more easily! We summarize them for you here.

1- Focus above all on well-being and the relationship with students

Baylor University researchers spoke with school leaders in the spring and summer of 2020 and they found three themes on which schools should focus in their response plan to a context as uncertain as the one we live in: well-being, engagement and feedback (in class, as well as at a distance). We will have the opportunity to detail them and offer examples in a future article.

2- Plan different strategies for each mode of teaching

Certain activities are definitely better suited to one type of teaching than another. For example, a group activity that focuses on developing the skills of young people can hardly achieve good results if it takes place online. After all, dwelling on the skills of a particular student during a live session with the rest of the listening class is not ideal. Instead, it is suggested that these group times be used for discussions and critical thinking activities, for example.

Here are some strategies to favor, proposed in an article of Education Week, in a case where the teacher sees his students sometimes in class, sometimes from a distance.    

In class :

  • Interactive discussions and practical lessons;
  • Laboratory or science work that requires supervision;
  • 1 to 1 teaching time for vulnerable students;
  • Information on the level of well-being of young people.


  • Present content in the form of reading or videos, which students can appropriate at their own pace;
  • Individual work, such as worksheets, reading and writing;
  • Optional, remedial or enrichment work.

Paul Barnwell adds for his part That in classroom instruction, it remains important to ensure that young people are allowed to ask questions and offer them feedback.

3- Aim for consistency in communications

How can we be sure to reach students more effectively? Share article these recommendations by Katie Hicks and Sarah Schroeder, University of Cincinnati:

  • Think about and write a communication plan with the parents.
  • Keep communication consistent and constant.
  • Try text messaging services like Remind (see this school user guide in French) or Group.Me, and keep messages short and simple. Many students and families will receive communication by text more efficiently and quickly than by email.

4- Avoid multiplying digital tools

Millions of students now know at least a little of the basics of Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Seesaw. But with so many other possible application options to complement the learning, it is recommended that teachers be careful and choose between 3 and 5 tools, which will be gradually introduced to the students. Indeed, if each secondary school teacher, for example, experiments with a host of new tools during the year, the students risk finding themselves quickly overwhelmed!

For other suggestions for digital tools and video tutorials, see the guide Accessible tools for distance learning of Carrefour education.

5- Emphasize citizenship in the digital age

Of course, with distance education, screen time necessarily becomes more important in the lives of students. This is why it is essential to establish a culture of citizenship in the digital age. This includes developing strategies for recognizing credible information, how to respond to cyberbullying and hate speech, and how to avoid online drama (or at least know how to respond constructively)!

Carrefour education offers you its guide on cybersecurity and digital citizenship.

6- Take care of yourself too, as a teacher

“As teachers, we will be useless in our attempts to bring some normalcy back to this school year if we don't value taking care of ourselves. Is the conclusion This article by Common Sense. What do you think?

Some digital tools mentioned in this article will be the subject of training for teachers during the CréaCamps of the École branchée this year. Complete programming is here.

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About the Author

Audrey Miller
Audrey Miller
General manager of École branchée, Audrey holds a graduate degree in educational technologies and a bachelor's degree in public communication. Member of the Order of Excellence in Education of Quebec, she is particularly interested in the professional development of teachers, information in the digital age and media education, while actively creating bridges between the actors of the educational ecosystem since 1999. She is involved these days in particular in Edteq Association and as a member of the ACELF Communications Committee. When she has free time, she is passionate about her children, his rabbits, horses, good wine and... Web programming!

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