When teachers were tasked with the huge responsibility of teaching students remotely, it was like the rug had been pulled out from under our feet. Many teachers had never taught remotely, and even the most tech savvy teachers experienced the pains of trying to hold the attention of an 11-year-old through a screen. Well, teachers and students (and parents!) came out on the other side, and now know better than they did in the Spring.
Here, we are going to compile every technology routine and procedure that you will need to explicitly teach this year if you will be teaching remotely. There is no way that I will be able to cover them all, so please share in the comments.
TECHNOLOGY ROUTINES & PROCEDURES FOR DISTANCE LEARNING
For many of these suggestions, I recommend recording a video showing students how to do many of these things and posting them somewhere accessible to both parents and students. This might be a Unit 0 in your Google Classroom or on a FAQ page on your class website. If you need a starting place on how to do these types of things, please check out our video library here.
1. Classroom Etiquette
Emphasize that even though you are at home, you are still in a classroom setting. For me that would mean: you are sitting up straight, you are taking notes, you are listening, you are participating by using the raise your hand feature on Zoom, and you are being a respectful, non-distracting member of our community. You might also require students to be on mute too. I would also provide some non-examples: you are not laying down, you are not in inappropriate clothing, you are not eating, you are not walking around holding your device, and you are not playing video games.
2. Communicating with Your Teacher
Give students an example of a strong, clear, and informative email as a template to help them (and you) out. Students will so frequently email, “I need help.” AND THAT IS IT. Here is what I would share:
Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. ______,
Hi! The purpose of my email is to ask for help regarding Assignment ____ Question ____. I have watched the videos provided and asked another classmate for help, but I am still having trouble.
- I keep getting this answer ____ but it is incorrect.
- I don’t know what to do after I complete (insert a step).
- I have attached a picture/video showing you my work.
Could you please help me? Thank you.
You might want to throw in another non-example: “miss — i need help. Kthanxbyyyyyee.” Then explain to students that you will respond within X hours and not to keep emailing during that time.
3. LMS Tour
I think this might be the most important technology routine and procedure to teach. Record a video of you walking through how to check for new assignments, how to check feedback on an assignment, and how to turn in an assignment. If you are using Google, take the time to teach how to add a text box, insert links, use the shape tools and add comments. I would actually create different videos and title them with exactly what you are showing them how to do. Example: How to Log In. That way, if a student or teacher emails you with a question asking how to do something – you can send them directly to a video.
4. Watching a Video to Learn
This was a major AHA moment for me! Many students (and adults) play a video and start multitasking. Videos are not just something for students to get through. They are the tool necessary for learning to happen remotely. Spend 10 minutes talking about what active learning looks like. You are looking at the video, you are listening to the video, you have removed distractions, you are writing down important information, and you are rewinding if you missed or didn’t understand something.
5. Other Ideas
These are just useful to show/explain to students:
- How to bookmark a frequently used page
- How to split your screen
- Organizing your Google Drive
- Updating a web browser or device
- How to check their grades in the grade book (and how often you will update the grade book)
After my first year of teaching, I made a long list of every routine I was going to teach, and all the consequences I would follow through on if my expectations weren’t met. No more Ms. Nice First Year Teacher. (Can you relate?) The thing about teaching is you don’t know what you don’t know. Even the most veteran teacher could not have properly prepared for distance learning if they had not done it before. What distance learning routines and procedures would you add to this list?
We love routines and procedures! Here are some other posts if you do too.
- 20 Must Teach Routines and Procedures
- 15 More Must Teach Routines and Procedures
- Routines and Procedures to Teach the First Day of School
- Everything You Need to Prepare for Back to School