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Teaching remotely in a case of force majeure? Ideas and Resources

Here are some resources that could inspire distance learning teachers.

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by Audrey Miller and Maryline Barrette Dubé

Here are some ideas that could inspire distance education teachers. This is the theme of our spring 2021 issue of our magazine École branchée.

The experience of Sainte-Anne

Sainte-Anne College has developed a model of good practice in distance learning. This stems from the experience of more than five years of organizing a “Carbon Neutral Day”, during which its students learn from home. The model relies on the use of different platforms and tools to allow teachers to optimize distance learning time. While a full shutdown for several days doesn't compare to a well-planned day, there are some ideas that we hope will inspire you.

In college, who says "home lessons" does not say leave. Students can follow their course by logging into platforms such as the Pluriportail (or Mozaik Portal which is more widespread in the public sector), Didacti, Moodle and Youtube. For example, teachers can provide exercises to complete or videos to watch.

For kindergarten students, a drawing workshop, learning exercises on YouTube, and a dance or yoga class may be on the menu.

Concretely, as the director Ugo Cavenaghi explains, the carbon neutral day respects the usual class schedule, but the lessons are given in a different way (the teaching tasks are announced in advance, portions of the lessons are given in line, it is necessary to submit a job, etc.).

To learn more about the approach of Saint-Anne College, watch the youtube video. See also the tweets of the establishment.

Technopedagogical advisor Jean Desjardins explains the Sainte-Anne model.

Free training for teachers

To train now in certain digital tools, teachers are invited in particular to discover the online training courses of the STORY Campus. And to become an expert in new pedagogical approaches, do not miss those of the CADRE21. Social media, collaborative writing, flipped classroom, augmented languages, learner feedback and more will be great topics!

Different approaches to evaluate

What works best for your school? What about you as a teacher? Take the time to assess your own style when teaching at a distance.

  • Record a video theory presentation and make it available on YouTube?
  • Create interactive homework?
  • Teach at specific times in webinar format?
  • Etc.

How to quickly start distance education

Here are some ideas taken from the guide " A quick-start Guide to Distance learning ". There you will find a host of resources that can help you teach from a distance in a relatively easy way. Most of the tools offered are also offered free of charge during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Keep in touch on a daily basis thanks to video

Make short videos of a lecture by yourself using your cell phone, Screencastify or FlipGrip. Ideally the video should not exceed 5 minutes to be effective. Students can then be invited to discuss the subject in interactive periods, for example using Google Hangouts or Meet. 

Create a virtual collaboration space 

Facilitate the sharing of ideas and the exchange between you and your students by creating your online learning space with Padlet, Google Classroom or Parlay.

Use the Internet in the best way

You will probably have the reflex to take your cards, exercises and / or other printed materials and transcribe them into an online tool. Resist the temptation, avoid leading the student to search for answers by typing the question on Google. Instead, develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills using learning techniques that the student has to create. Here are some interesting tools in this regard: Choice Boards, Book Creator, Google Slides Activities.

Move in front of the screen 

The time spent in front of the computer obviously increases when teaching at a distance. Why not incorporate movement into your virtual classroom? To try! GoNoodle, Yoga Classroom, Music and Movement Time.

Concrete ideas with certain applications

Using the app GoFormative, for example, allows teachers to reinforce, consolidate or put into practice knowledge and develop competence. This platform allows students to see their task and provide feedback to support their learning.

If a new concept is on the program, the teacher could use software Screencast-O-Matic or VideoAnt to ensure that the concept is understood. These video tools give students the opportunity to pose their questions within the video, interacting with their classmates and teachers. We can, for similar objectives, consider the application EdPuzzle.

To diagnose difficulties and needs, the teacher can turn to a quiz. Moodle learning environments or Didacti This works well, as does the combination of Google Classroom and Forms. Other more fun tools offer great possibilities, such as WooClap, Kahoot, Quiz and Mentimeter.

To generate ideas in groups or collect productions, Padlet is interesting.

Students and their teachers can overcome the challenges of learning the programming language Scratch. These contents are accessible free of charge in the environment Didacti.

Good practices inspired by academia

The University of Quebec offers various resources for distance education in order to support university teachers who wish to make a rapid shift towards this modality. Many ideas could inspire those in the youth sector.

Please feel free to share your ideas and best practices with us so that we can spread them! Write to us at info@ecolebranchee.com.

About the Author

École branchée
École branchée
The École branchée, a non-profit organization, is your professional development partner in connection with digital competence in education. We believe that education must be able to benefit from current educational and technological advances to better meet the increasingly diverse needs of learners and promote their success, today and for the rest of their lives. We work there through our professional information services, continuing education and the creation of educational tools.

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