The pedagogy of distance learning

Distance learning is not reproducing a classroom in an unknown space in each 30 different homes.

As I write, millions of teachers world wide are recreating planned content to be shared with students that are unable to attend school in some countries there are students simultaneously in their classroom. Some have online access some don't.

How do we address distance learning? 

Rather than create a second set of lessons for those at home, I recommend you allow school based students time to work through the same content. This means you are not creating dual content.

Teachers are being encouraged to teach online, this does create a social justice issue where not all students and teachers have access to an online format, because of any of the following service, data plans, devices or wifi.

To make it easier on you I have created some ideas for setting lessons for both online and offline learning. 

  1. Flipped learning - set a video, image or reading task that can be used to stimulate questions, writing or drawing.
    • Create a poster
    • Write a story, report, reflection, debate
    • Design..
  2. Contracts - set contract tasks that allow student choice to complete items in the order they prefer. 
    • Contracts set on a Blooms Taxonomy could be allocated a point system where they need to complete a certain amount of points with easier tasks worth less points and more difficult tasks worth more points.
    • Set rows of tasks one for each subject area and students choose one task from each row.
  3. Home based learning - home based learning is an opportunity, particularly for younger students, to teach hands on learning. 
    • Explore recipes, 
    • menu plans, 
    • playing games of cards, and 
    • board games that allow students to be scorers and bankers
If you have students at home and in the classroom, change your program so school based students are working through the same content. This will ensure students are not disadvantaged and you are not creating double content.

This is a stressful time for teachers and students. Reduce your prep time and work smarter not harder.  Best wishes to you all. Stay well and look after your mental health and wellbeing.