The school year has end­ed, and teach­ers have endured per­haps the great­est, most far reach­ing chal­lenge to our edu­ca­tion sys­tem in his­to­ry. With­out any guar­an­tee that schools can reopen in the fall, it’s nat­ur­al to won­der what hap­pens next. Even if stu­dents can return to class, should things sim­ply go back to nor­mal?

One thing almost every teacher and school admin­is­tra­tor agrees on is that we weren’t pre­pared for a sud­den switch to remote edu­ca­tion. Some school dis­tricts have decid­ed to go for­ward with a hybrid mod­el of teach­ing that inte­grates dis­tance learn­ing into every­day class­room learn­ing. This would involve teach­ing dif­fer­ent groups of stu­dents on alter­nat­ing days and keep­ing class­room num­bers low until the dis­cov­ery of a vac­cine for COVID-19.

How­ev­er, meth­ods like this could prove to be both dif­fi­cult and expen­sive. Here are four ways you can pre­pare your­self and your stu­dents should schools need to ulti­mate­ly close again.

1. Improve your home teaching setup.

Edu­ca­tors had lit­tle notice that their jobs would have to tran­si­tion from school to home, leav­ing them with almost no time to acquire the remote learn­ing devices or design the com­fort­able and prac­ti­cal home teach­ing space they would need. 

Although nice to look at on Pin­ter­est, it’s not required to spring for an entire dec­o­rat­ed work­space with a wall-mount­ed dry erase board. A lot can be accom­plished with a home com­put­er and a portable or desk clamp doc­u­ment cam­era with a small foot­print. If you do hap­pen to have access to a full-sized white­board, you can effec­tive­ly sim­u­late an in-class­room expe­ri­ence using a PTZ cam­era.

2. Determine what worked and what didn’t.

If you strug­gled to use a par­tic­u­lar device or soft­ware, or a par­tic­u­lar les­son didn’t trans­late well over dis­tance, it may not be worth try­ing again in the fall. Take the time to eval­u­ate new edtech, soft­ware, and approach­es until you find some­thing that feels tru­ly intu­itive and com­fort­able.

3. Find shortcuts to save time and energy.

If you can pre-record a lec­ture or opti­mize a les­son for dig­i­tal shar­ing, you’ll free up time that can be bet­ter spent con­nect­ing with your stu­dents and pri­or­i­tiz­ing those who have lim­it­ed access to tech­nol­o­gy at home. When­ev­er pos­si­ble, build off the expe­ri­ences and suc­cess­es of oth­er teach­ers. Ask for help when you don’t know some­thing. You don’t have to do every­thing your­self, from scratch, every time.

4. Prepare to take care.

Life hap­pens, even dur­ing the school year. You won’t be able to head off unfore­seen events that fur­ther dis­rupt your work/life bal­ance, but an ounce of pre­ven­tion is worth a pound of cure. Take time this sum­mer to pay extra atten­tion to your phys­i­cal and men­tal health and stream­line some aspects of your per­son­al life. 

If you’ve been putting off try­ing yoga or learn­ing how to cook more nutri­tious meals, it’s a good time to start. 

Enjoy your sum­mer, and be proud that you endured such a remark­able chal­lenge. You deserve some rest and relax­ation. When you’re ready to pre­pare for the com­ing school year, we’re here to help. Vis­it our remote learn­ing guide for more resources, or reach out to us direct­ly if you need assis­tance. Sched­ule a demo with our team to see how edtech can assist you with remote instruc­tion and dis­tance learn­ing.

QOMO is the edu­ca­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny that cre­ates tools that improve col­lab­o­ra­tion in the class­room and from a dis­tance. From doc­u­ment cam­eras, inter­ac­tive mon­i­tors to soft­ware, we have what you need to sup­port you in the class­room or at home.

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