As Robert Burns pointed out, “The best laid plans o’ mice an’ men” too often go awry, and schools experience this just as much as everyone else.
Teaching when your school is closed
A particular challenge can be when a school has to close its doors for one reason or another. This might be snow days, flooding or damage to school buildings for example, political unrest as experienced by some international schools in recent years, or even more recently the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.
No school wants to stop supporting their students and families, but how do you provide teaching and learning in these circumstances?
A very common and powerful option is to use online-conferencing with students. However, using web-conferencing is only half the battle - students also need to access their learning materials and collaborate with other students for an interactive experience. How can teachers efficiently do this?
Providing a multi-dimensional Web-Conferencing experience
To provide the best experience, we recommend bringing all the necessary tools and resources on to one main page. This could be for example via a google doc which has links to all the learning resources such as a passage to read or a poll question. This helps to guide students through all their activities alongside the web-conferencing element.
If you're a Firefly user, teachers can embed web-conferencing tools such as Zoom directly into a Firefly page and combine it with all the required activities. This means students are less likely to get lost in an array of tabs, making it easier to access the content.
For example, they might use the embedded web-conferencing to introduce the lesson and then employ a Firefly forum beneath for students to ask any questions while they get on with an exercise.
Sharing content and assigning tasks
With Firefly teachers have a variety of options - they can provide integrated lessons online with notes, videos and worksheets grouped together to lead the learner through the material. With tasks and assignments available through Firefly, students have detailed instructions with all of the supporting content required to help the student continue learning.
Embedding google docs, sheets or slides within Firefly pages and tasks gives students a space where they can collaborate, without having to leave Firefly, whilst polls and class tests make it straightforward for the teacher to assess how well students have grasped an idea or concept.
Schools are far more than just bricks and mortar, they are a living, breathing community of people working together. Technology provides ways for schools to transcend the traditional classroom boundaries and provide support to their communities whatever challenges they are facing.
Want to find out more? Simply get in touch and we would be happy to provide you with a free demonstration.