Even as we left school in May, I think most of us assumed that the 2020/2021 school year would be unlike any other. Like many of you, I spent a good part of my summer learning more about digital learning. And while many of us connect digital learning exclusively with distance learning, the truth is that many educators were using digital learning in their classrooms long before the pandemic forced us all home. Today I’m linking to a few resources that I have found very useful for overcoming the steep learning curve many are experiencing.
Digital Math Manipulatives
One of the big concerns I’ve heard voiced about distance learning is how to continue providing students with the concrete learning that is required for developing a deep conceptual understanding of math concepts. Thankfully, I came across a great resource from Julie Smith, The Techie Teacher. She created an amazing resource with links to an incredible array of virtual math manipulatives. As a K-5 Ed Tech Consultant, she’s a good one to follow.
Planning for Distance Instruction
For many educators, the idea of planning for distance learning seems daunting. How do you build a classroom community with students you haven’t met personally? How do you keep students engaged with online lessons? How do you teach all of your standards with schedules that often feature shorter class periods? I came across this new resource from Corwin Press while browsing my Twitter feed, and I immediately ordered it from Amazon*. The Distance Learning Playbook was literally just published in July, and I felt grateful to get my copy! It’s not a resource you need to read and absorb all at one time, rather it can serve as your guide in the field.
*This is an affiliate link, which simply means that if you purchase it, I receive a small commission.
Help With the Nuts and Bolts
Finally, many of us are learning new technologies. I know I am! If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my millennial son, it’s that’s there’s a lot to be learned from YouTube videos. That’s where I found Michelle from Pocketful of Primary and her amazing videos! She has a wealth of knowledge about digital learning and a delightful on-camera presence. I’ve included one of her videos here, but be sure to check out her YouTube channel.
I hope you find these resources useful! If you have any others to share, please drop them in the comments.