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Distance Learning

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Mric83, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. Mric83

    Mric83 New commenter

    Hi everyone. So first week of distance learning complete...and my head is spinning. I've never spent so much time in front of a laptop batting off notifications from various sources (Seesaw, Microsoft teams, Whatsapp). We're currently having to work from home so we haven't got access to white boards etc and are providing lessons through seesaw activities. Being in an international school though, there is still an expectancy from the parents to do more. I was just wondering how people are getting on with it?
  2. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Like a lot of schools we are using MS Teams.

    I agree that spending a lot of time in front of a laptop is becoming hard work. Lack of a whiteboard is killing me. I know Teams does have a whiteboard but I can never get it to work satisfactorily with a mouse.
    Teams has gone down a few times due to millions of people using it. That does not help.
  3. sicalifornia

    sicalifornia New commenter

    It's dreadful here - not just because it's Asia and I am now desperate to just go home. After 4 weeks of it, we are all struggling so much. More and more is expected of us as teachers, not let up at all, still having to provide 'normal' marking and feedback, teaching 'live' lessons on webcam, year 12 no longer going on study leave because of exam cancellations so we have to create some kind of work for them to do between Easter holidays and the summer break.

    On top of this, we are having to write a report to our heads of department DAILY, to feedback to senior leaders on what we have been doing in lessons as if to prove we haven't been sat on our backsides all day drinking beer.
  4. rossydunn

    rossydunn New commenter

    We are holding out rather well at the moment. We utilise the G Suite of apps to manage all our distance learning. We use Google Hangouts for lesson delivery (3 part lessons), with work submitted either as a Google Doc, a picture or via a short video clip with all resources and submission linked to Google Classroom accounts. Similarly, our staff are marking and giving feedback via the same method. The screen record function is an absolute revelation for some of our staff in providing instruction and feedback in a timely manner!

    I was honestly dreading the implementation of this, but with a few minor tweaks along the way, it is more positive than we had anticipated (for the most part).
  5. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    This is where google classroom works well: just add management to them and they can see what you are doing without you having to update them.

    I've found that recording videos of me presenting powerpoints, but then being available on google hangouts to clarify for students has been the most effective in terms of my time and supporting the students.
    bonxie likes this.
  6. normannobody2018

    normannobody2018 New commenter

    Sadly my Surface pro 7, which I bought in January, has stopped working, otherwise I'd have recommended tablets with pens.
    MS Teams is the best of the bunch. Completely free zoom videos for those with Microsoft education accounts.
    Hadn't used MSTeams before this week, but will be forcing everyone to use the resource even after schools reopen. Fantastic. Thanks Bill,
  7. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    A folder in google drive with daily folders inside, each containing resources for that day.
    A daily email to children explaining what they have to do.
    They can work at their own pace - no need to stick to the timetabled 'lessons' (they like this).
    Work and minor questions/clarifications comes back via email during the day.
    The odd 'live' session on Google Meet for a quiz to keep spirits up.
    We might include a recorded video in the day's folder to 'explain' or 'teach' something as necessary.
    Year 6, Spanish children, teaching them in English. Younger and older children have different models to suit the age and ability of the children.

    Was quite hectic over the first day or so but much calmer now.
  8. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    We are two weeks into elementary home learning. Its going ok. The parents seem happy. If anything, I think they are quite surprised how smoothly it's gone. A combination of two 15 minute Zoom calls a day, lots of Screencastify explanations, Hangout conversations, FlipGrid reflections and Google Classroom posts seems to work.

    We start at 8am and try to squeeze in all the core work before 12. After lunch we encourage them to do projects, STEM activities and reading. Basically get off the computer in the afternoon.
    citct and bonxie like this.
  9. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    The biggest issue is collecting work for Maths and English and actually being able to grade it and comment on it.
  10. normannobody2018

    normannobody2018 New commenter

    MS Teams makes this easy. Assignments are set and worksheets can be distributed to and returned from all students.
  11. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    You can also do it very easily via google docs and classroom, or seesaw if in primary
  12. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    We are a GSuite school, so stuff done in Google isn't a problem, it's the hand written stuff, art and maths. We are looking at Seesaw.
  13. normannobody2018

    normannobody2018 New commenter

    Such types of work can be difficult to work with online. MS Teams allows attachments to assignments, so a student could take a photo of work and upload it. The teacher can grade / comment on the assignment.
    Alternatively, an expensive solution is to invest in Surface Pro or similar devices, which make use of pens instead of mice.
  14. missmunchie

    missmunchie Occasional commenter

    Also in Teams you can set up a class notebook. The teacher can see all the kids notebooks, kids can only see their notebook. Both can write in the notebook and it saves lots of emails etc and keeps everything in one place. I had used OneNote before with older classes as an alternative to a physical notebook as I teach ICT.
    normannobody2018 likes this.
  15. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Teams and Google pretty much do exactly the same thing. it just would depend on what format your school prefers/uses more often.
  16. normannobody2018

    normannobody2018 New commenter

    I stumbled across Microsoft's system after using google for many years. For my latest school it took Google too long to accept we were a school and they were wanting us to use a different set of email addresses. In the end I looked around and discovered Microsoft had upped their game.

    IMHO, Microsoft education is far better than google. The document sharing, for a start, avoids google annoying change to their proprietary system. The number of accounts is far more and the tools for Microsoft are more in number - e.g. Office lens, translation tools, MS teams and assignment, etc etc.

    Microsoft offers free training for teachers to use their tools, so not even a $6 charge like Google.

    In summary, now I've used both, I prefer Microsoft.
  17. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Same here, but i prefer google.
  18. normannobody2018

    normannobody2018 New commenter

    but does google still require you to convert .doc / docx files to their system to share them?
  19. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Dont use word anymore, i have moved with the times :)
    Helen-Back likes this.
  20. citct

    citct New commenter

    It's irrelevant, the future is non-proprietary formats such as odt, even classic html

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