The Essential Best Practices for Flipping Learning Online

Second Wave Series 20 / August 24, 2020

Everyone was okay with being not that great for a while. It was all good, we gave each other grace and permission to not be at our best. But now we really have to get this right.

 

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A panel of K-12 teachers and higher education professors discussed the best practices for flipping learning online at the 2020 Second Wave Summit.  The second wave refers to the looming threat of the return of COVID-19 in the fall that may drive another round of school closures and remote learning. It also refers to the second round of contingency planning and preparation we all now need to do to prepare for the uncertainty of whatever is coming next. Watch the full panel discussion or read the transcript below.

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Second Wave Summit

The Academy of Active Learning Arts and Sciences brought together educators and administrators who embraced the Flipped Learning framework (and those who didn’t) to share, prepare, and plan for the future of education in a post-COVID-19 world.

Source: Academy of Active Learning Arts and Sciences 2020

 

Jon Bergmann:

I want to start with something Dr. Robert Talbert said about remote teaching that really struck me.

Dr. Robert Talbert:

Now we’re in this position where we’ve got to iterate this and get good at it. Everyone was okay with being not that great for a while, and it was all good; we gave each other grace and permission to not be at our best. But now, we really have to get this right. To do that, I think we have to have a lot of enthusiasm and some training too, and the mindset that this can be done. Not only can it be done, it’s been done a hundred times before, just look at the Flip Learning people. People who have been doing Flip Learning up to this point have had a very easy time; I’ll say that. The people who have been straight lecturers, this is like, I would be considering retirement at this point.

Jon Bergmann:

Grace, what are your thoughts about what Dr. Talbert said about getting it right?

Dr. Grace Onodipe:

He’s absolutely right about that. That’s what I noticed with my colleagues as well when we moved to online. When we, not just me, that was ready for the online environment. My students were ready as well because we had been flipping; we were familiar with how to prepare before class. We knew how to watch videos. The videos were already created on my end, so I didn’t have to scramble to learn how to create videos at that last minute. All had user-created, all that pre-classwork was created. The structure was already in place; what was needed now was just to figure out what to do with the group space activity. It was very smooth for the students. We don’t have much online at my campus, my students were particularly well prepared because they had been flipping with my other colleagues, who had not flipped their classes before. It was a challenge to try to learn the videos, try to create the videos, try to get online, try to get their students to get the vibe.

Ken Bauer:

Yeah, he is right. We were doing panic doggy, and we have to be really careful to not think that, “Oh look, this just didn’t work, it bombed,” and, therefore, online education sucks we shouldn’t do that ever again. We need to have a critical lens on how were judging on what happened before.

We need to support the faculty and the students that were struggling, and we’ve got to be really aware about access, and about other issues that are involved in doing online learning, and do a lot more asynchronous as opposed to synchronous. We need to think about doing that right. A lot of our educators, the message was, “Just do what you normally do, if you’re used to lecturing, just lecture. Do it online with Zoom.” Really, this is what they had to do. We couldn’t overload them with too much stuff, and on Monday you’re going to be switching to online–that you’ve never done before and you’ve never used these tools. Now, we need to get these people support. Not just the faculty, we need to give support to the students, because switching to online mode, where they’re sitting in their house with their parents around them, the screaming, the yelling, the cats, the dogs, and everything else. We need to be really aware of not just what’s happening for the faculty, but for the students and give them support.

Jon Bergmann:

Robyn, what about you? Getting it right and the fact that we have to up our game now. We were, as I’m hearing from you guys, it was all about emergency learning. We can’t just always be on emergency learning mode. Thoughts?

Robyn Brinks Lockwood:

Right, I think that the challenge with this is that it happened so quickly, and so those of us that were flipping, we did. We had a head start. We had this jump start. College professors were not necessarily trained to be teachers. They were hired to be experts in their field and impart their knowledge and that’s what they do. I think what it’s going to take moving forward is getting people the training they need. To dovetail on what Ken just said, for the students, although my students really knew a lot, I mean, they thought of things that I hadn’t even thought of in terms of being signed into their Zoom rooms. We really need to help our colleagues, our other teachers out there so we can all do this and do it well.

Jon Bergmann:

All right, so the focus of this panel discussion for those of you that are watching are to really figure out the best practices in remotely learning. As we go into remote learning, whatever the scenario’s going to be like next school year, or this school year, like for Debbie down under. It’s going to be very different right? That’s the focus. I think one of the best ways to understand what best practices are is actually to understand what the best practices aren’t. I know most of us, all of us, are experienced with Flip Learning, and so maybe we had an easier time with it. I want maybe three of you to share your biggest fail. What was it that you did wrong? Even you, right? You were a Flip Learning expert and you dropped the ball.

I’m willing to go first, if you want, give you guys some time to think about it. For me, I tried to repeat the same types of assessment that I had done before. I was trying to think of ways to do assessment, you know the traditional test that I had, even though it was on a computer, I had security issues. It was a mess. What I had to do was completely rethink how I did assessments. That was my biggest fail. Who has got a biggest fail? Besides me.

Dr. Tom Mennella:

I’ll chime in. I’ve got a big fail, so I’ve been flipping for so long and it’s been moving so well. It was this well-oiled machine, and I would just show up every semester and open the gates to my Flip Learning method and magic would happen. The analogy I use, is I got really, really good at cooking the dishes in my kitchen, and once this pandemic struck, I was put into another kitchen. Things were labeled differently, ingredients were different, and I had to rethink the why’s of everything that I was doing. One thing that I neglected was the modeling piece. I put everything online; like Robyn said, I ported my whole Flip model online, it looked beautiful, it seemed seamless, and I just expected the students to be able to engage in group space activities through the LMS rather than in person. I forgot how important it was for me to model the activities and the actions that I wanted my students to engage in, so I became the extra student, diving into the discussions, diving into the activities, and being that remodel. I’d forgotten how important that is.

Dr. Helaine W. Marshall:

Yeah, I have two, okay. One is one I did in the very beginning and one is one I’ve just discovered. The first mistake I made, was I forgot to build in accountability in every single element of Flip Learning, so I had pieces of accountability here and there. I found out the hard way, for example, in the breakout rooms, if I didn’t build in accountability with my students who were in breakouts, then you would get the conscientious students who would do the task for the others, you know for example. I had to build in accountability every step of the way, right? Not just the way you might do in traditional teaching. Every piece had to have it.

The one that I’ve just discovered is I didn’t flip the reading. What I understand now when I say flip, is that I’ve discovered that what really works well that I wasn’t doing is I need to be there while they’re reading too. I flipped the readings. In other words we’re all in the same text together, and I see who’s reading, I get an account of how many minutes they’re spending, and what they’re doing in the readings. There are applications where you can do that. I would just have them, if they’re reading, they read it, if they read it or not. I’ve discovered that, that’s another piece that I was missing.

Debbie Williams:

I can’t, mine was just similar to Elaine. The biggest, I wouldn’t say, I suppose it is a fail, but it was in the breakout rooms. Part of my issue is the students that I’m teaching, I’ve never seen them face to face. So building the relationship was harder with those ones, than the existing students. However, and this is the interesting thing, a few of those students went back to China early. The ones that I already know, and they are just as bad, if not worse than the April fast track students. Even though the April fast track students were bad initially, because I trained them and we worked and had a structure and every lesson was the same, and I had accountability, that part was fine. But when I got them into the break out rooms to discuss things, I’d go to each break out room and some of them, like Elaine said, would be really good. They’d be sharing their notes, sharing my PowerPoint, and talking about bits of my video.

I don’t know how Zoom does this but I’d go to another breakout room where all four of them had done nothing. They’re all sitting with their microphones off. I’m like, “So, what’re you doing guys, you need to be talking to each other.” It was, and it’s still difficult, but I’m not the only one having this problem which is a little comfort. We’re all working on the same problem. I’m more annoyed with the students I actually know that are doing this, because I’m saying, “Come on guys, if we were in the classroom sitting around a table, are you going to pass notes?” They’re talking to each other in the chat. I’m like what are you doing? Turn on your video and your microphone and talk to each other.

Jon Bergmann:

Good, thanks. Now let’s shift gears a little bit, and check the opposite side of the coin. What were some things that were your big wins? Things that yeah, I think Dan you haven’t shared yet, so a big win for you?

Dan Jones:

Probably the biggest win was the relationship, not only that I had with students, but that I developed with parents because I started contacting parents a lot more, and a lot more frequently. They actually appreciated being informed of what their child is doing when they’re on Zoom, or not doing. They really wanted to be involved in their child’s education. That was a huge win to build that relationship with the parents.

Dr. Grace Onodipe:

Same with what Dan said, it’s the building of relationships. I was able to keep everybody moving along together. We have a live chat session and a couple of students are not there, immediately I’m emailing them. What’s happening? Is everything okay? The students really appreciated that. The emails they wrote back were, “Thank you so much for caring, and thank you so much for keeping track of me. I’ll be in your class next time, this is what happened, or this is why I couldn’t be there.” Having that relationship and making sure that I didn’t lose students, was a big win.

Dr. Helaine W. Marshall:

My big win, actually I owe to a colleague who pushed me to take a leap of faith. Carolina Rodriguez Buitrago worked with me, and we had a peer instruction component in my course. That was amazing to me how much the students appreciated that opportunity to do peer instruction. They flipped! They made their own videos on a tiny narrow piece that they were responsible for. They taught each other, they learned from each other, I stayed out of it. We did put in a little quiz, so I knew how much they had learned. Carolina really helped me with the accountability piece for that, and we’ve had the most successful peer instruction component. I never would’ve believed it could’ve happened. In their evaluations, that is what they said they liked best about the course, was learning how to make their own videos. They said they’re going to flip their own classes someday.

Jon Bergmann:

It’s interesting that you say that, I had a chat with Eric Mazur just last week, and we were just talking. He was so surprised, I mean the inventor of peer instruction. He says, “I was so surprised at how well peer instruction worked online. I didn’t know it was going to work,” because he’s always done it face-to-face. He was like, it just blew him away. He was giddy, actually, it was really fun to see. Speaking of surprises, any big surprises that you had as you went online and had to immediately start teaching online? What was a big surprise for you? Ken?

Ken Bauer:

I don’t know if it was a surprise, Jon, and we’ve talked about this many times. I think I rediscovered that faculty or colleagues that asked me for help, sometimes we can assume things are really easy, and often they are. They need someone to just hold their hand for five minutes. It can be, and it used to be on campus, where we’d have a coffee, and I’ll hold your hand, and I’ll teach you how to make a video. One minute later, they’re off and going. Now I’ve found a way to be able to do that remotely with my sessions where I have a “you can book me” set up, that my students and colleagues can talk to me. Just that little help to get over that fear of getting started is really important, and I rediscovered that over the last few months.

Dr. Tom Mennella:

I was surprised at the diversity of home life that my students experience that my students have. Again, I’m a science professor so I have students who were nurses working full time, and now they’re on mandatory 72-hour shifts where they’re basically locked in the hospital. Students who have rough homes, shoddy wifi, no access to technology. If you were to sit down and ask me, I could tell you, yeah sure of course my students are going to some from all different walks of life but just that broad spectrum of their diversity of home life, technology, safety, security, health. I was shocked and surprised by that.

Robyn Brinks Lockwood:

I think one of the biggest, I don’t know if it was a surprise or a shock, or I just wasn’t expecting it, but I was required in this past spring quarter to record my classes; when those students knew they were being recorded that made a really big difference in the interaction. There was a difference; if I would have done an activity in person it would have been different. It kind of goes back to what we were saying about relationships; luckily, with Flip Learning, you have this relationship with the students, and they were comfortable telling me eventually, “You know it’s because we’re recorded. I would’ve said this, or I would’ve done this,” but it’s being recorded and forever persevered, and that was a concern. Right? I had to make some adjustments for that because I had to record this term.

Dan Jones:

Yeah, one of the things that surprised me was that even though I’ve been flipping my class, my students still struggled with the transition, because it was a different environment, it was a different way of engaging with me. They missed the personal connections, and I found I missed them. I missed being around them. Some of those things they really didn’t transition well, or as well as I would’ve liked. We really had to pause and reconfigure some things so that they felt more comfortable. One being on camera, and that they felt comfortable sharing. I found I was surprised I had to just give them time to just talk because the classroom could no longer just be about schoolwork, it had to be about their life as well, and how they’re processing their remote situation. We had to really open up dialogue about what’s working, what’s not working. Those are things that I just did not anticipate.

Jon Bergmann:

Yeah. Similar to yours, for me, it was… I reached a day about two or three weeks in where I melted down because I thought it’s going to be easy for me. Right? I’ve been around Flip Learning for a long, long time, and this should be easy for me, and it was not. It was hard! It was really, really hard. I also know like what Dr. Talbert said at the beginning of the show, that I had it easy, compared to some people. I mean I really did, but boy, it still was hard. Anyways, I think Tom said it well; he said, “I’m in a new kitchen or something like that.” Right? That was a good metaphor that he said. What surprised you, did you discover any unexpected tools? Does anyone have any, “Oh, I just discovered a new tech tool, or technique? I guess Helaine you already shared peer instruction a little bit. Did any just discover something that you never expected?

Debbie Williams:

I did but we can’t use it.

Jon Bergmann:

Well, for the good of the world, what was it?

Debbie Williams:

No, I said, ideally, but that’s not really the point. We restricted the number of tools on papers because [of] two things. The main one being that certain things do not work in China and most of our students are in China. The other reason was going back to the training of the staff. We decided to focus on what everybody is meant to know and build on that.

Ken Bauer:

We had a lot of faculty going, “I want to use WebEx, I want to use this, I want to use this,” and I’m like no, no, slow down, cognitive load on students, please don’t freak them out. We’re using Workplace, which is like Facebook for an organization. Before it was mostly me posting, which if you know me that’s the way I am, but a lot of the other faculty have become very much more active in sharing, in asking, and being open about what they’re doing, and help they need. Having a little bit more open sharing amongst our faculty has been something that has been a really important tool for us in the Tech Del Monterrey.

Debbie Williams:

I also think we had quite a few teachers wanting to try WeChat, and it’s like come on, it works for some people and it doesn’t work for everybody. I still can’t get it on my phone, they just don’t want me. We had to say Blackboard is our LMS, like it or not, that’s what we’ve got. That’s what we’re going to start with. Then we added the other tools that we knew would work in China.

Dr. Grace Onodipe:

Not to add on too many tools, because of the overload that students would experience, so whatever my campus has, I use. I don’t try to stray outside of that. That also helps me, because when I need tech support I have tech support on campus to help.

Dr. Helaine W. Marshall:

I just need to add this, I’ll be very quick. I took a training from Eric Mazur on Perusall. It has changed, that’s what I was referring to early about sharing the reading with my students. Perusall is a wonderful tool if you can work with it, if your campus can work with it, or you could work with it, even individually you can do it.

Jon Bergmann:

I used it. It’s amazing, it’s absolutely amazing. My discovery by the way was Go Formative. What an amazing, amazing tool. I encourage you to look at it if you haven’t looked at that tool per se. Now let’s transition to the best practices. We know what best practices are in Flip Learning right? This is not a mystery. Many of you guys were part of this 100 people, 49 countries, we came up with a list of 187, if I get the number right, elements of effective Flip Learning. How has that driven and helped you through this process of switching to online learning? Who wants to go first?

Robyn Brinks Lockwood:

I can go first, I think for me those standards, really help you keep your eye on the ball. Just because I didn’t want to fall into this trap. I think a lot of people when they first start flipping fall into the trap where it’s just oh you flip homework for classwork and classwork for homework, and it’s so much more than that. Right? Anyone who’s heard me get on my soapbox about Flip Learning knows for me it’s so much more about Bloom’s taxonomy. The standards really help you stay on task with that. Throughout the process this past spring, I just kept going back to those, making sure that whatever I was having my students do in class, even though everything was online, I was still making sure that they were getting to the top parts of Bloom’s taxonomy. Those standards really help with that.

Dan Jones:

When I use those standards, and I am setting up my lessons, every aspect of the lesson has standards attached to it. Really it lets me know that, one, I’m doing what I need to be doing, but it also told my students, there’s a reason behind what I’m asking you to do. I use those constantly. The students knew that a particular part of the assignment was not something to just blow off. There was an actual reason and logic behind that specific task, whether it is reviewing something or the project aspect, or the video, the notes, the reading, whatever it may have been. There was reasoning behind it. I then was able to take those standards and say, “Okay what am I assessing here?” I used those standards to actually be part of my grade card. When the students look, they could see this was a particular standard that I did really, really well with, and I was able to do lower Bloom’s really well, maybe I struggled a little bit more with the higher Bloom’s aspect. It really helped to dial in the instruction, it helps to dial in the assessment, and it made everything that much more meaningful.

Jon Bergmann:

Let me speak to an elephant that might be in the room, that not everybody here agrees with the global standards. It’s okay if you feel like that, I’d love to hear if you’ve got any kind of a dissenting view about what those might be. Any thoughts from anybody that might have a counterargument? Because actually a great panel, do you know what a great panel is? When people disagree. That’s where it would be sort of interesting and engaging.

Debbie Williams:

I just don’t like the Chemistry presentation, Jon. The first thing, when I first saw them I was freaking out because I can’t do Science, but then when I understood it, it was fine. Yeah.

Ken Bauer:

I won’t disagree, I’m just not big on big lists of things, that’s all. What I would add is a lot us are used to doing flipped, we’re used to doing active learning, but I’d caution us at trying to become our own experts on online learning. There’s a lot of people that have way more experience than most of us on this, and we need to look at people that are experts in this area, and that have been doing it for 20 years of more, and learn from them. It’s really important.

Now I’ll call out for Laura Gibbs, which is online course lady on Twitter, she’s an excellent follow, really important person to follow, and she’s been screaming every time people are saying things like, “Oh this is new, and we’re doing it.” This is not new we’ve been doing this for a long time. Look at the people who have been doing this for a long time. Asynchronous is really much more important, and we all know that, then focusing on the synchronous learning. Especially when people have bandwidth issues, and they can’t be at the same time together, and we’ve got to look at more asynchronous, we’ve got to look at more…

Debbie Williams:

The time table restrictions, I don’t know about anybody else, but when we see our students, at the moment, it’s only twice a week and it’s an hour. By the time they get into the room and they’re all, I’m sorry I forget they’re all flipping now because we know we’ve been doing this for so long now, but they’re 10 minutes late, and they’ve all got internet issues, and the teacher in the class has let them out late. Oh God, here we go again, and of course, you’ve got to believe them.

Ken Bauer:

Uh-huh (affirmative) and they’ve been in their chair for three to four hours.

Debbie Williams:

Then you’ve got 15 minutes. It’s really like what Ken was saying about the asynchronous stuff is so important to get right, so that in the Zoom listen you are focusing on what’re the problems because I teach accounting. Now we can do one exercise together, we don’t have time to go over, I’m not teaching you because I explained what I’ve done in the previous place. That’s why now I have more lessons in their part, as well as my videos. The kinds of things that I would normally ask them at the beginning, like quiz questions, after the video to make sure that they understand, now they’re in their part. I’ve worked out a structure, so I did make my lists for remote learning 101. I just did all this reading, I got onto Twitter and thought, okay fine, I’m going to do: explore, explain, apply, reflect, as my main sticks for every single lesson. Yeah.

Jon Bergmann:

Now Ken back to your point…

Ken Bauer:

And then there’s that Jon, you’ve got that book behind you, and I’ll remember when I sat and read this book, waiting for a meeting. Your point about the best use of my in-class time. That’s what we’ve really known, and Debbie was basically saying that. It’s really important to make the best use of our in-class time, even when it’s synchronous online.

Jon Bergmann:

To your point Ken, I think that one thing I’ve immersed myself in, in the last month and a half, is I had been interviewing people who are experts in just online learning because online learning experts have known how to do online learning for a very long time. Now we need to get a lot of people up to speed because who knows what scenario we’re going to face when the fall comes, or heck, Debbie, you’re still in it because you live in the southern hemisphere.

Ken Bauer:

I did the same thing last year too Johnathan, I knew I was going to teach online in October for the first time, so I selfishly interviewed four people that I knew that’d been doing this forever for my podcast because I wanted to learn from them and pick their brains and I had that luxury.

Dr. Helaine W. Marshall:

I’ve been flipping my online courses for five years. All of my courses are online and flipped for five years, so I’ve been learning a lot about how to do it. I’m not saying it’s perfected, but I do have a model that I use, and I’m happy to share that, maybe when we talk John at some point.

Jon Bergmann:

Lets kind of shift now, how are you getting ready and your staff? One thing that I’m noticing is that as I talk to Flip Learning people from around the world they are being tasked with helping their schools to make some of this transition. They don’t have enough people like Helaine at their school, who are experts at online learning, to help all the people that need help with online learning. I have a sense that probably some of you are getting tapped on the shoulder to help the faculty at your place. With that in mind, how are you preparing for a possible second wave, or is it the end of the first wave, or a resurgent of the first wave? I don’t know what it really is from an epidemiological word, or whatever, a word I can’t even pronounce. How are you getting ready for next steps? Dan.

Dan Jones:

One of the first things I did was, I took to a Facebook group and I said, “All right, guys, what platform are you all using? That you’re having success with.” It came back time and time again Canvas. I was familiar with Canvas because I used it in my Master’s program and I started to investigate an LMS that I felt our school could really use. I went in, joined the free account, and I started building lessons. In that process, I was able to, one learn how to do it, but I then created a Screencastify that I could share with our staff, as this is how you create lessons within this platform. The staff overwhelmingly said, “You know what, this is extremely helpful,” and it allowed them to plan their lessons differently than what they did this past spring

Dr. Tom Mennella:

One thing I’m moving ahead with, I should say my biggest pet peeve, is working for nothing. Sinking hours and hours into something and having it just not be worthwhile. I’m building out my courses for the fall intentionally so that everything that I plan has a modality online or on ground, that I can do it in both spaces, so that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel or scramble regardless of which way we go. That stems from something my whole institution os doing very proactively. Let me just take my moment of the soapbox here to say thank the world for instructional designers in higher ed. They are doing the yule man’s work in terms of getting us migrated into the online space. My home institution has a whole army of instructional designers building out everyone’s course, on Canvas, our LMS for an online delivery. That’s going to be pre-canned and ready to go if we need it. Then we plan for on-ground independently. I’m double-dipping personally so that everything I plan can be done in either space, and my institution is planning for both contingencies as well so that we’re ready to roll in either way.

Dr. Grace Onodipe:

Before the COVID all happened, I had already submitted seed grant proposal to lead faculty learning communities virtually. This whole thing happened and now, there’s been a moratorium on the seed grants for now. I want to in the future, or sometime soon, still go ahead and get faculty learning communities set up. The first faculty learning that I led was a flip learning FLC. I got multidisciplinary faculty together and we worked through, we read Talbert’s book. Robert Talbert’s book was one of the books we read. We went over the global standards, elements, and all those things. Getting faculty together to share and learn from each other, I think is a very powerful, meaningful professional development for sharing experiences, especially at this time.

Debbie Williams:

We’re facing a bigger challenge in that, we’ve been told that our classes next term are going to comprise students that are face-to-face and online. That just scares me because we’ve been told that we’re going to have to do things like record our lessons, and I’m like, what is the board? I haven’t stood in front of the board in I don’t know how long. How am I going to do this, because John knows, everyone knows, I’m actually quite short. I just, it’s a really difficult time, because nobody knows exactly what we’re going to have to do, and it’s only a few weeks away. If anyone has got any ideas, I saw Martha Ramirez put something out on Twitter, because she looks like she might have the same problem.

Dr. Helaine W. Marshall:

Yeah, because I think, first of all, Grace, thank you for that wonderful idea. I’ve been jotting down ideas from all of you. I have been doing exactly the opposite, which is what I thought I’d talk about a little bit. On my campus, I’m the only one who been teaching online, I’m the only one who’s been flipping, and everybody, I was marginalized. Now… What they wanted me to do is just teach everybody, and get everyone together and what I found is that everyone is in such a different place. Some of these wonderful, and I’m at a college, some of these are professors, and it was mentioned earlier, some of these professors, I mean in fact we lost somebody who said, “I’m out of here. I’m not going to be doing this.” We’ve even lost some students who can’t do online. I just have to share with you, I’ve taken each professor separately, and I’ve tried to take their teaching style, how you teach, give me your syllabus, and I’ve worked with them to figure out how they can teach online and flipped. I’m just going to give you this one example. I’m only going to give one. I have a professor, brilliant guy, all he can do is email, he can’t do anything else. I had him, he talked, he called me on the phone, he talked, he did his lectures on the phone to me. I put the mike next to the mic on my computer, I recorded his audio lecture saved it as an audio file and uploaded it so that it was there for his students as a lecture to them. That was how we got around his inability to do just about anything else online. Then I Svengali-ed him into doing some online plugs and other things I could talk about. That’s what I think is important, you take each person, and it’s very labor-intensive and time-intensive, but that’s the way I’ve been approaching it, so they can manage it, so they can do it.

Jon Bergmann:

Yeah. All right, we’re running out of time so what I want us to do is just, I want you to think of something pithy, a 20-second, 30-second thing, advice that you would give to somebody. Think of all the teachers that we all know, that at our schools, our Universities. What’s the top piece of advice that you would give them? As my best practice is, as they move to online learning. If they have to. We don’t know what it’s going to look like. Whatever we’re going to face. Debbie, next week for you, the rest of us, we’ve got a few months. What’s your top advice?

Debbie Williams:

Okay. Keep it simple. Just keep it simple and be consistent. Students like structure, and once they know what’s going to happen with your lessons, they will get more involved because they’re not so scared. They know what’s going to happen. Just keep it simple and don’t use 10 tools, when three will do.

Robyn Brinks Lockwood:

I’m always telling my students, and now I would tell my colleagues, nothing is impossible when you have no choice. It’s just better right now. We have no choice. It is possible and there’s a way to do it. If we all just reach out and help each other, as Helaine said, let’s find a way, there’s a way for everybody to do this. You can make it your own way.

Dr. Grace Onodipe:

Students need to buy in and to have a little, but more self-direction when you’re teaching them in an online environment. Find ways to promote self-regulated learning in your students. I’m getting them to reflect on how they are learning in the online environment.

Dr. Helaine W. Marshall:

Mine would be to take a little leaf from the community of inquiry model, Garrison and Archer. Teaching presence is one of the important elements of online learning. Be present. Be warm. You can still be you when you’re online. That would be my message.

Ken Bauer:

Trust your students and practice a pedagogy of care.

Dan Jones:

I would say think through how you’re going to support your students through their learning, and if they’re going to do things asynchronously, how much more support do they need, compared to when they were with you, what types of things. How did you support in the classroom? How does that then transfer to an online learning scenario?

Dr. Tom Mennella:

Don’t think of it as online learning. Think of it as learning online. The online does not come first, it comes second. Figure out what your students need to learn and then figure out how to do that online. Not the other way around.

Jon Bergmann:

I guess for me, what I felt like, was my thing I did well, was I really tried to maintain relationships with kids, and I made videos for students, individual videos for them. That really made a difference. I teach year 11 and year 12, a lot of kids are seniors with the class of 2020. I didn’t get to say goodbye to them, so I thought, how could I say goodbye to them. I made an individual video for every single one of my students. In three minutes just talked about my impressions of them and that made such a difference in their lives. The emails I got back from parents, from students, was unbelievable, because it’s so important to continue that, because my students, I’m sure yours were too, were anxious. They were scared. This is a weird world we’re living in right now on so many levels, and this was a difficult time for them. They needed to know someone was in their camp. Hey guys, I want to just thank you, thank you so much for being a part of this. You guys are all rock stars. You are all doing amazing work, helping countless students and even as you help other teachers, like Helaine, you talked about this teacher. You helped that teacher who now helped so many students. Think of all the people that this group of nine people have touched. It’s not just our individual students, which is, of course, the most important, but also the teachers that we’re reaching that can reach other students. Thank you very much.

 

 






Editorial Leam
Editorial Team
This article was written by a collaboration of editors and columnists on the FLR editorial team or guest contributors.




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