Category Archives: SchoolTech

Distance Learning: How to Teach in the Time of the Coronavirus

edmodo

Note: I share an account by one teacher of how she manages to stay connected with her students during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting closure of schools. My colleagues and I have been making use of the same platform, Edmodo. I highly recommend it to those of you who may not have settled yet on how to stay connected. In a future post, I will share my own experience.

P. J. A John\\

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Distance Learning: How to Teach in the Time of the Coronavirus

By |March 21st, 2020

These are hard times for schools and for us teachers. Staying at home does not mean rest and relaxation at all, but rather, since families expect instruction and lessons to be carried out even from a distance. The task of a teacher becomes even more difficult as preparing a lesson to do later in class is very different from preparing it, recording it (or instructing live) and then sharing it online.

Luckily for teachers, there is Edmodo! Never before has Edmodo proved so useful for its flexibility. Once a tool in our kit during classroom time or after school, Edmodo takes on a more prominent role, offering the ability to upload various materials, lessons, quizzes, and homework and then share them with students.

As a teacher, once you’ve created your own Edmodo Classes (depending on what subjects you teach and how many different classes you have), you’ll then want to organize your content and communication, making the best use of features such as subgroups and folders. A good rule of thumb is to create an orderly environment. For instance, in an online environment, students are better off responding directly to a teacher’s message rather than creating a post for all classmates to see.

Notes can be used to create announcements, lessons and discussions. Important announcements can then be pinned to ensure that they are easily found. In a Note, you can create a lesson by adding all the necessary information and attaching useful links. You can also create short, simple videos with further explanations which are then attached to the Note for the lesson. This is especially useful if the lesson hasn’t covered all the material or if it is particularly difficult for students. I am creating many of these videos—simple and short and based on the textbook where the topic is explained clearly. Using the comment section, students can ask questions or request further explanations.

In my opinion, sharing your lesson is not enough. We need to engage our students by asking them to answer questions on the topic that is being addressed. And, to make the online learning experience more closely match learning in the classroom, have students comment on each other’s answers. This is important in maintaining, as far as possible, contact between classmates. When my students took part, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of interest and care with which students participated in discussion.

Edmodo also allows you to create Quizzes and Assignments to assess learning progress. A Quiz provides the level of understanding for a topic and therefore allows us to determine overall student understanding so that we can continue moving forward or decide to stop and go over the topic again. And, don’t forget that Quizzes and Assignments can be shared among colleagues so we can help each other with relevant, high-quality learning content.

Lastly, I suggest following the hashtag #bettertogether on Edmodo to find and share good practices with other educators and to feel less alone in these difficult times!

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Retrieved from  https://go.edmodo.com/distance-learning-how-to-teach-in-the-time-of-the-coronavirus/

May 06, 2020

5 Simple Social Media Rules for Principals

The use of social media is pervasive throughout our school system. From kindergarten to college’ every student, every teacher, the ancillary staff and yes, some principals have a social media account. However, many of us frown on the idea of making social media an integral part of school management and operations. It seems as if principals, in particular, are the ones who refuse to lead in this regard. Permit me to share with you an article (slightly adapted)  from the site School Leaders Now It gives some ideas on the use of social media by principals 

social media etiquette rules for school leaders

It’s okay to use social media as a principal or member of your school’s leadership, but your posts do need to be above reproach. Following these five simple social media etiquette rules can help you maintain a Facebook and social media presence without looking unprofessional.

1. Separate your personal/work accounts

Using your personal media accounts to stay in touch with family and friends with careful privacy boundary settings is one way to maintain social media. However, many schools additionally have social media accounts set up for their administrators and teachers. Those accounts are designed for disseminating information to your school families, teachers and staff. Be careful not to post personal updates to your school-assigned accounts. A school-provided social media account can be an excellent way to update but also a way to keep updated and share resources throughout the school’s community

2. Avoid favouritism and don’t tag anyone

Follow the authorities’ social media policy and media release guidelines when posting any photographs and videos. This is especially important if they mention school employees, students, or families. School leaders need to follow all rules of conduct in posting images or updates, even from your school-provided social media account. It’s also a good idea to avoid tagging or posting pictures of others. It’s okay if you socialize with any staff or families outside of school, but avoid posting any images or tagging them. This ensures they can maintain their privacy and you do not show favoritism toward certain students, teachers, or employees.

3. Lead by example

Your teachers, staff, parents and even students are watching your social media posts. Make sure to write positively in your posts and share updates showing pride in your school.  Also, never post under the influence or while in a compromising situation. Keep a professional distance despite the temptation to share vacation pictures or comment on pictures from your teachers or families. Lead by example. Share things that are similar to what you expect your teachers or staff to share. Fill your feed with positive posts and educational resources.

4. Join professional groups

Use social media to your best advantage as a principal by joining online organizations for support and resources. Teachers and staff may use social media for lesson plans and other helpful teaching options. Make sure the resources you find fit within curriculum guidelines and are reviewed for content. Some online options with social media for principals include: ISTEASCDNAESPNASSP, and NEA. Finally, consider how others will view your professionalism when they view the groups you belong to on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms.

5. Control your privacy, monitor privacy laws

Carefully control your social media privacy settings and keep up with changes to privacy settings. Make your posts private and available only to your established social media friends outside of the school setting. Also, keep an eye out for intrusive, negative, or inappropriate followers on your own social media posts/pages. As an administrator, you should also take special note of applicable laws related to privacy and cyber bullying in all posts from you, your staff, teachers, and other administrators.

Taking advantage of social media as a school leader can introduce resources and improve professional communication at your school site and throughout the district. It’s one way to begin building a positive culture at your school.

 

Amy Barnes

Retrieved from: https://schoolleadersnow.weareteachers.com/social-media-etiquette-tips-school-leadership/

5 Simple Social Media Rules for Principals

The use of social media is pervasive throughout our school system. From kindergarten to college’ every student, every teacher, the ancillary staff and yes, some principals have a social media account. However, many of us frown on the idea of making social media an integral part of school management and operations. It seems as if principals, in particular, are the ones who refuse to lead in this regard. Permit me to share with you an article (slightly adapted)  from the site School Leaders Now It gives some ideas on the use of social media by principals 

social media etiquette rules for school leaders

It’s okay to use social media as a principal or member of your school’s leadership, but your posts do need to be above reproach. Following these five simple social media etiquette rules can help you maintain a Facebook and social media presence without looking unprofessional.

1. Separate your personal/work accounts

Using your personal media accounts to stay in touch with family and friends with careful privacy boundary settings is one way to maintain social media. However, many schools additionally have social media accounts set up for their administrators and teachers. Those accounts are designed for disseminating information to your school families, teachers and staff. Be careful not to post personal updates to your school-assigned accounts. A school-provided social media account can be an excellent way to update but also a way to keep updated and share resources throughout the school’s community

2. Avoid favouritism and don’t tag anyone

Follow the authorities’ social media policy and media release guidelines when posting any photographs and videos. This is especially important if they mention school employees, students, or families. School leaders need to follow all rules of conduct in posting images or updates, even from your school-provided social media account. It’s also a good idea to avoid tagging or posting pictures of others. It’s okay if you socialize with any staff or families outside of school, but avoid posting any images or tagging them. This ensures they can maintain their privacy and you do not show favoritism toward certain students, teachers, or employees.

3. Lead by example

Your teachers, staff, parents and even students are watching your social media posts. Make sure to write positively in your posts and share updates showing pride in your school.  Also, never post under the influence or while in a compromising situation. Keep a professional distance despite the temptation to share vacation pictures or comment on pictures from your teachers or families. Lead by example. Share things that are similar to what you expect your teachers or staff to share. Fill your feed with positive posts and educational resources.

4. Join professional groups

Use social media to your best advantage as a principal by joining online organizations for support and resources. Teachers and staff may use social media for lesson plans and other helpful teaching options. Make sure the resources you find fit within curriculum guidelines and are reviewed for content. Some online options with social media for principals include: ISTEASCDNAESPNASSP, and NEA. Finally, consider how others will view your professionalism when they view the groups you belong to on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms.

5. Control your privacy, monitor privacy laws

Carefully control your social media privacy settings and keep up with changes to privacy settings. Make your posts private and available only to your established social media friends outside of the school setting. Also, keep an eye out for intrusive, negative, or inappropriate followers on your own social media posts/pages. As an administrator, you should also take special note of applicable laws related to privacy and cyber bullying in all posts from you, your staff, teachers, and other administrators.

Taking advantage of social media as a school leader can introduce resources and improve professional communication at your school site and throughout the district. It’s one way to begin building a positive culture at your school.

 

Amy Barnes

Retrieved from: https://schoolleadersnow.weareteachers.com/social-media-etiquette-tips-school-leadership/

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