Amidst the chaos created by this pandemic, educators have been adapting lesson plans to their district’s chosen remote learning approach, whether that be using learning management systems, collaboration suites, take-home packets, or all of these in various combinations. The option to teach electives like art, music, and physical education, which is even more crucial when schools extend remote learning plans for a longer period of time, takes creativity, tenacity, and courage.
Art teachers have used cloud-based software such as Adobe Creative Cloud to encourage digital creativity in the ‘classroom’, while physical education teachers have tapped into the power of smartphones and wearable devices to make activities more interactive, and communicate these activity results back to the teacher.
In Pennsylvania’s Pennsbury School District, students have connected with artists nationwide using Skype, written their own music with free notation programs, like MuseScore and Noteflight, and collaborated on music projects using Google for Education’s Flat extension.
Teachers have also used videoconferencing tools like Microsoft Teams, and Zoom to continue student collaboration and give feedback on their work remotely.
In Gig Harbor, Washington, physical education teachers collaborate each week and post the week’s activities, which vary each week to hold student interest. A map showing their ‘walk/jog’ route accomplished that day, or a video showing a specific workout, to even digging holes in the back yard to perhaps plant a shrub or tree! Students communicate with their teachers via email, Google Docs, and/or the District’s Schoology platform. All done with an A-synchronous timeframe – due by Friday.
Further adding to the challenge nationwide this fall, is the uncertainty of the economic forecast, and its impact on school funding from tax income, such as Title I funds.
Despite the hurdles before us, one can count on the creativeness of people to adapt…to make things work…to look adversity in the face and say “watch me”.
EdGate will be here to help and participate in the ride ahead, as we all navigate into the future together…
By: Larry Johnson