Distance learning played a significant role in helping kids continue their education amid COVID-19. However, it’s clear that it can never begin to match up to in-person classes and the effort educators put into it. Creative writing teacher Bridgette Gallagher described it as such in our feature on her titled ‘Elegy of an Empty Classroom’: “My classroom is an extension of my heart. Everything I have put into it: the furniture, the background music, the posters on the wall, my too-loud voice at the start of a new unit. It’s the purest reflection of me.”
Yet remote learning can still be useful even after schools have reopened. ABC 7 reports it can give students more flexibility if they can’t attend school due to COVID-19 or other illnesses. With this, it remains crucial for us to continue perfecting the art of remote learning. So, here are 4 methods from around the globe that you can try.
Increased accessibility to materials
The foremost barrier to remote learning accessibility is the lack of stable Internet. This is made more crucial with the Democrat & Chronicle releasing a report titled 1 Million New Yorkers Don’t Have Broadband Amid COVID-19 in September 2021. Here you can take inspiration from Bridge International Academy, a school network spanning Africa and India. Its @Home program makes all learning materials available in one place — and its mobile interactive quizzes are available on WhatsApp without charging students for data usage. You can do the same while also providing curricula and lesson plans. This way, your remote students can follow along with ease.
“Zoom fatigue” is a well-documented phenomenon, and students learning remotely shouldn’t have to experience it just because they’re unable to attend school physically. Take your cue from Finland’s Nokianvirta junior high school, which was documented using lesson segmentation in the 1997 study Intercultural Teaching and Learning. Segmenting your lessons and activities will make student workloads more manageable. It’ll also help you cater to the shorter attention spans the New York Post credits to the impact of TikTok. This will help make your lessons more engaging — and allow students to retain information better, improving learning outcomes.
Data science is playing an increasingly significant role in education. Whole governments are investing in data analytics for their schools, with Kazakhstan being the prime example. It recently partnered with Seoul-based software company DataStreams to meet the country’s existing demand for Big Data platforms — and for good reason. Modern learning management systems come with integrated data analytics features that can assess student progress over the course of a lesson plan. With it, you can determine which parts of your curriculum students are struggling with the most so you can adapt your instruction accordingly.
Uppingham School, located in the market town of Uppingham in England’s Rutland county, is one educational institution that’s successfully implemented a flexible curriculum. Their students were able to better personalize their learning schedules to their own interests, skill sets, and goals for the future. As an educator, fitting your lesson plans to your students instead of the other way around can more effectively kindle a love for learning and better equip them for what they want to do as adults — even if you’re teaching them in a remote setting. Though there will never be a true replacement for in-person learning, it’s still possible to provide high-quality education regardless of the setting. Learning how others around the world teach remotely can improve not just how we tackle distance learning, but also how we approach our role as educators.
Billy Walton is a freelance writer who specializes in topics on education’s newest advancements and trends. In his free time, you’ll find him fishing or woodworking. He can be reached at email@example.com.