TxDLA Keep Connecting: Episode 4
TxDLA Keep Connecting webinars are led by distance learning experts providing a toolbox of immediate needs to our members and the distance learning community during this time.
Note: This summary is live-blogged from the session so you can quickly scan the content. The time stamp for the video is included in parenthesis to help you get to specific quickly.
K-12 Fully Online Panel
- Chris Bigenho, PhD Director of Virtual Learning Academy, Lewisville ISD
- Larry Kahn, Chief Technology Officer, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth
- Tiffany Carey, M.Ed, Director of Innovative Learning, Frisco ISD
The Journey to Learning at Home
Frisco ISD (10:30) started creating their plan two weeks before spring break. Transitioned eLearning day format to complete online plans. Used eLearning as the structure.
Trinity Valley School (12:15) built on a plan from the previous three year. They have a 1:1 program for faculty and middle and high school and are using Canvas as their learning management system.
Lewisville ISD is working through the final preparations and plans.
What is the best way forward and keeping the whole child in mind? (17:00)
- Acknowledge the moment. We are in uncharted territory personally, professionally, and at school.
- There will be a transition and make mistakes along the way.
- Continue to build the relationships and think differently. Virtual School Counseling site will help you put a plan in place to get your counselors up and running. https://sites.google.com/friscoisd.org/virtualschoolcounseling/home
- Don’t overwhelm parents and students. Trinity Valley School gave a directive to teachers to cut what you are teaching in half. Think about computer and HUMAN bandwidth.
- Birthday drive bys and teacher parades
- We can still create and enhance relationships even though we are not in the same physical space.
- The juvenile justice system students are coming back to the home campus which means that they will be at home.
What can we do for teachers and schools that lag behind in distributed learning skills? (28:00)
- Lewisville calls it Learning At Home. Not every student is going to be able to be online.
- Trinity Valley School uses Canvas as their LMS. Helping teachers transition from using it to only post assignments. Have teachers work with a buddy to improve their skills after the virtual training.
- Also added Office Hours with a tech person to help them individually.
- Do not put anything new in the teachers’ and students’ hands if possible. Recommend for students to balance online and offline activities.
- Frisco expanded evening tutorials from secondary to include middle and elementary. Other staff did this to support the teachers. Make it so that the guardian and the student are both present.
- Set boundaries for school time. Reinforce a school routine.
What About Grades?
How are districts taking grades?
- Teachers are putting grades in Canvas.
- First week was no new content. It is okay to do something different. Frisco is taking grades now. It is due weekly, not daily.
- Provide at home lessons that can be done independently. Placed on the same structure that will be used when the learning plans go live.
- Have teachers realize that they should consider everything open book.
What About Technology?
Try to stay within the toolbox of resources that your district already has.
Additional Resources and Links
If you need help transitioning to a simple, flexible, and dependable video communication solution, we can help.