So … I’m officially on Spring Break!  I chose to staycation this time around.  Well not really, more like on lockdown for the next little while (until March 31st officially) but … the situation is fluid.  All that to say I have a lot of time on my hands to rest, read, and reflect.

Just finished the first three days of virtual learning and here are my reflections in random order:

  1. Don’t expect the virtual classroom to be a replica of the “real” classroom.  It just isn’t.  At this point less is more.  Establishing that virtual online community is everything – especially if this drags out more than we expect it to.
  2. Some tools work better than others.  Zoom for example, I find much more useful than any Google product for the time being anyway in terms of videoconferencing.
  3. Seesaw Activities are super useful to organize assignments and keep a pulse on the classroom.  Send back and comment features great for feedback.
  4. Screencastify in conjunction with Google Slides has been effective as a “morning message & daily heads up announcement.”
  5. There is resource overload in terms of what is available.  Curate and find what works best … but I need to remember: purpose, purpose, purpose.  Otherwise even online an activity with no purpose is just an activity.
  6. Set a schedule for what will happen when and respect those boundaries.  Otherwise I easily stay connected to my screen way too long.
  7. Make sure everyone in the family has “a spot” for virtual working/learning and hopefully a good pair of headphones with a microphone so as to not distract the rest of the household.
  8. Exercise!  More for the mind than the body.  I know it’s not easy but get creative.  Bodyweight workouts are great and don’t require equipment nor much space.  Plus, you can never do too many push-ups!
  9. Remember that this is new for everyone.  Try.  Some things will work the way you expect them to.  Others won’t.  Take it easy on yourself.  Reflect, refine, and move-on.

Will keep you posted on my reflections after starting to teach new content after break!