– Errol St.Clair Smith –
Why? Why publish an edition of FLR when we’re all overwhelmed with articles, videos, and offers to help from every website we’ve visited since we discovered the Internet. Why not just scrap this issue? The short answer is that schools are still struggling to switch to distance learning overnight, and educators from K12 to higher education are taking a fresh look at the Flipped Learning framework. So this issue aims to provide additional support to those who want to know more about how to use Flipped Learning to teach online.
On March 3rd, 2020, The Academy of Active Learning Arts and Sciences published RTOL: A free 12-step emergency roadmap for making a rapid transition to online learning. This quick-start guide walks educators through a simplified step-by-step process to maintain the continuity of teaching and learning during forced school closures. The program was based on a simple question,
“If an educator had just one hour to prepare to teach remotely, what are the most essential things she would need to know and do? “
RTOL was selected by several school districts and departments of education, including the largest school district in the United States. At the higher education level, it was adopted by universities from the US to the Middle East and South America. The short RTOL course offered exactly what many school leaders and educators needed at the moment. This issue of FLR covers the needs that come after you’ve made the daring leap into the deep end of online learning.
Peter Santoro was flipping his math classes in New York until COVID-19 drove him, and his school, online in March. In this issue, Peter takes us on a deeper dive into the craft of planning for the individual space and the group space and how shifting to online learning changes the game.
Jake Habegger is an 8th grade US History teacher in Franklin, Tennessee. Jake’s piece drills down on using Bloom’s Taxonomy to figure out what to assign students to do alone, and what to reserve for online class time with the teacher. More importantly, Jake explains why we just can’t give students a video to watch and explores ways to ensure students actively engage with your assignment in an online context
Dr. Thomas Mennella weighs in on the importance of looking beyond academics to meet the social-emotional needs of students easily lost in online learning. Tom underscores why the starting point is confirming whether your classes will go online using a synchronous or asynchronous model. Tom covers ideas for making online class time engaging and fun.
Dan Jones is a history teacher and an experienced Flipped Learning facilitator whose school has just moved to online learning in response to COVID-19. His piece focuses on the simplest and easiest ways to move your lesson online using tech tools.
Jon Bergmann is one of the early pioneers of Flipped Learning who is currently teaching at a high school in Houston Texas. Jon practices an advanced form of Flipped Learning where every student is expected to master the content. So how will mastery learning perform when the class is moved online? Jon shares what he’s learned so far.
Jon Harper is an assistant principal who wonders if schools will be able to support students with special needs during a rapid transition to online learning. He hosts a popular podcast and invited two special needs professionals and a parent of a child with special needs to discuss the challenges.
Beyond the 12-step roadmap, the online teaching tutorial and the strategies shared in this issue, the most important thing you will likely need is ongoing support. We may move to online learning overnight, but developing competency will require time and lots of assistance. AALAS and FLGI created the Rapid Response Team to connect you to an international network of educators who have extensive experience managing the challenges you will face.
Teaching was taxing before COVID-19, and making a rapid transition to online learning is driving the stress level through the roof. Educators are finding that talking about it helps. Jon Harper invited a team of teachers to talk about social-emotional needs. The FLR team started a weekly virtual hangout to reflect, share experiences, and identify the big lessons they are learning. You can listen in on their weekly virtual happy hour at the RTOL Bar and Grill.
12 Ways You Can Meet Students’ Social-Emotional Needs While Teaching Online
The 7 Social-Emotional Needs We Discovered in Week One of Teaching Online
So you wanted to change the education world? Well here’s our chance to put a dent in the education universe.