The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted traditional learning environments and left K-12 schools and universities with a massive dilemma. How can we facilitate learning environments that produce positive student outcomes while keeping all of our stakeholders safe and healthy?
This fall, K-12 schools and universities across the globe are planning to adopt either a face to face, remote, or blended instructional model (Tate, 2020). In response to this unparalleled change in instructional delivery models, new technologies will need to be created and adopted. To further complicate things, school districts have to create a plan to accommodate multiple proposed models
(face to face, remote, and blended learning).
School districts can save themselves a lot of time, resources, and anxiety by choosing the only instructional model that makes sense: remote learning. In this whitepaper, we will discuss what remote learning is, how it keeps kids safe, the challenges it poses, and also an innovative new app that makes delivering remote learning a breeze.
Remote learning is the safest solution
Out of all of the proposed Covid-19 schooling models, remote learning is the only one that keeps kids and teachers safe (Craig, 2020). Why? Because face to face and blending learning models bring students, teachers and support staff in direct physical contact with each other, which will undoubtedly lead to an increased spread of the disease. Let’s face it; we all know that the average student is not the poster child for hygiene. School districts and universities that have students’ best interests at heart will choose remote learning this fall.
So you may be asking yourself, what is remote learning? Remote learning occurs when the student and the teacher, or curriculum, are separated by time and distance and, therefore, cannot meet in a traditional classroom setting (Ray, 2020). Because of this, learning has to take place virtually. Information is typically disseminated via technology (email, discussion boards, video conference, etc.) so that the student and teacher don’t need to assemble in a classroom. Remote learning can occur synchronously
(happening at the same) or asynchronously (not happening at the same time). It is also called online learning, eLearning, distance education, virtual learning, or remote training.
Understanding the challenges of remote learning
Remote learning is not without its challenges (The Learning Network, 2020). The first challenge is overcoming the fact that isolation may undermine many of the teaching strategies that we use in traditional classrooms. Collaborative learning experiences can disappear from the curriculum if we are not careful, which means learners miss out on the positive benefits of student engagement.
The second challenge is that remote learning has been known to lower student motivation and grit. With so many distractions at home, students find it hard to focus on assignments. The third challenge is technical difficulties. If a student experiences technical issues with their remote learning software, their computer device, or their internet connection, there is no IT (Information technology) professional onsite to help them troubleshoot the issue.
The fourth challenge is the fact that remote learning can be time-consuming for teachers. It takes time and energy to translate content that was meant for face to face or blended instruction to a remote learning format. The fifth and final challenge is that remote learning can lead to diminished accountability for students and teachers. Many teachers create remote learning content, push it out to their students, and hope for the best. Many students, in turn, make a halfhearted effort to complete the work, and in the end, very little learning takes place.
All of the challenges of remote learning can be mitigated and even solved with proper planning, management, and leveraging the right technologies (The Learning Network, 2020).
How can teachers prepare for the “new normal”
How can teachers and administrators leverage remote learning to ensure that they are up for this “novel” challenge? Enter, classroom.cloud, an easy to use, low-cost classroom management and remote learning platform. It was developed by NetSupport to provide teachers with a set of stress-free, simple yet effective cloud-based teaching tools, to help them deliver and manage engaging and meaningful learning experiences, remotely.
Remember those challenges to remote learning that I mentioned earlier (The Learning Network, 2020)? Well, classroom.cloud can help you solve all of them. Let’s take a look at how it accomplishes this. It solves the challenge of isolation by allowing students to interact in real time via individual or group chat and messages, and teachers to gain instant feedback on topic understanding with class surveys. It solves the challenge of motivation by giving teachers the option of locking or blanking students’ screens for maximum focus while they explain the lesson activity. It also allows teachers to set clear, measurable goals, so students know the amount of time they should spend on each task, what they are responsible for completing, and when their assignments are due.
It solves the challenge of technical difficulties because it is easy to set up, configure, manage, and use. Classroom.cloud virtually takes care of itself. However, districts need to make sure that all students have access to a reliable computer device and access to the internet.
It solves the challenge of time consumption by allowing teachers to use the app with their already established Microsoft SDS or Google Classroom platforms for maximum flexibility and to save time when setting up their technology-led lessons.
It solves the challenge of diminished accountability by allowing teachers to monitor students’ web and application use in real time to ensure they’re on task, and remote control their screen for guided instruction or when they need help. They can also help their students stay safe and focused with ‘allowed’ and ‘restricted’ website/application lists to ensure students can only access relevant websites and are shielded from unsuitable content.
These features ensure that students are on task and completing the assignments diligently. They also give teachers the tools that they need to deliver, manage, and guide the learning process, making them 100% accountable for producing positive student outcomes.
Also, classroom.cloud boasts other features that make it perfect for delivering and managing remote learning. It allows teachers to connect to students’ devices quickly and easily by a range of methods, which helps them to get started with teaching and learning straight away.
Classroom.cloud is scalable to work with the smallest school to the largest district. It offers multiplatform support for use with a mix of devices which ensures your school is future-proofed and can roll with the ever-changing tech landscape. In addition, its intuitive interface ensures that it doesn’t take a ton of time for students and teachers to learn how to use the app. This leads to a peerless user experience and a high level of satisfaction. Trust me, if your district chooses classroom.cloud to deliver and manage its remote learning model, you will experience positive student outcomes on an unprecedented level.
To support the new normal in education, the apps and tools that school districts deploy must have flexibility and come with robust features. Classroom.cloud certainly fits this description, as it allows teachers to monitor, control, and collaborate with their students to deliver super-engaging, interactive lessons that will keep them immersed and on target for success. IT (Information Technology) professionals will appreciate the fact that it integrates directly with existing infrastructure and can be deployed in minutes and manage teacher and student devices centrally – saving them a bunch of time.
School districts will love the fact that it comes with a small price tag, is scalable, and features clear central configuration and management. If you are looking for a platform to help you deliver and manage remote learning in these perilous times, then classroom.cloud is your best bet. It checks all of the boxes, solves all of the problems associated with remote learning, and all of your stakeholders will enjoy using it. By leveraging classroom.cloud to power your remote learning model, you are well on your way to producing positive student outcomes.
Craig, R. (2020, April 2). What Students Are Doing Is Remote Learning, Not Online Learning. There is a Difference. Retrieved July 17, 2020, from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2020-04-02-what-students-are-doing-is-remote-learning-not-online-learning-there-s-a-difference
Ray, K. (2020, March 31). What is Remote Learning? Retrieved July 17, 2020, from https://www.techlearning.com/how-to/what-is-remote-learning
Tate, E. (2020, June 10). What Will Schools Do in the Fall? Here Are 4 Possible Scenarios. Retrieved July 17, 2020, from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2020-05-27-what-will-schools-do-in-the-fall-here-are-4-possible-scenarios
The Learning Network. (2020, April 9). What Students Are Saying About Remote Learning. Retrieved July 17, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/learning/what-students-are-saying-about-remote-learning.html