Learning resources to make online learning successful

March 11, 2020 / By

With schools, communities, and neighborhoods affected by COVID-19, the ability to work and learn remotely has become very important.

As schools around the world temporarily close (or, prepare to close), students are being forced to stay home due to this pandemic. Administrators and teachers are tasked with finding creative ways to keep students on-track and engaged as they learn from home. We want to do everything we can to support you and your students. We’ve put together a list of ideas and resources to make online learning successful in your classroom. 

Teacher-Created Videos (Instruction)

Create an instructional video with embedded essential lesson elements: Learning Objectives, Prior Knowledge, Academic Vocabulary, Questioning, Modeling, Closure, Assessment, and Independent Practice. 

Learning Objectives 

At the beginning of your video, outline the essential learning for the lesson. Make the context come alive (think movie trailer or documentary). This is the hook for your lesson. 

Activate Prior Knowledge

In your video, include a connection between what students will be learning today and what they have already learned. Include visuals of actual student work or from the WeVideo Essentials Library. 

Academic Vocabulary

In your video, highlight new vocabulary in a way that creates meaning, reasoning, and sense-making. Imagery, subtitles, text, and music enhance and make connections to the meaning.

Questioning and Modeling

Create an “explainer video” by using simultaneously recording your screen and webcam. Questions and “think alouds” can be prompted using thinking stems, e.g. “I know this because …” “My solution path looks like this…” “I agree with this approach because…”  

Closure and Assessment

A great closure strategy and assessment tool is the Frayer Model. In a traditional Frayer Model, students write the word they are going to define in the middle of a graphic organizer. In the upper left corner, students write the definition of the word in their own words. Have students write the facts or characteristics they know about the word in the upper right corner. In the lower-left corner, students write or draw an example of the word. In the lower-right corner, students write or draw a nonexample of the word. Give students the freedom to represent the Frayer Model in the way of their choosing in the new video creation version. Use your instructional video to prompt students to be creative in their Frayer Model video. Students will respond by creating videos to represent the word, using media or real props of their choosing. Don’t forget to remind them of the green screen features (A blue background works too!)

Guided/Independent practice

Be explicit about skills you want students to reinforce and set aspirational targets for student creations. That being said, we know students thrive under opportunities to display voice, choice, and to be their most creative selves! Give students feedback and support, while allowing them to express themselves in their own way. 

Feedback

Create a quick daily feedback video for each student to support their progress and help them feel connected and supported. You can record your screen and narrate your feedback as you walk through their work. They’ll be able to see exactly what you’re responding to and hear your feedback. You could even record your webcam and insert yourself in the video to help your students feel like they’re hearing directly from you in the classroom. Students will be able to share these feedback videos with parents as well to get their help and support with their remote learning.

Parents

Parents will play a critical role during these times of emergency school closures. Always our partners in education, parents will now be balancing both whatever changes they need to make with their own work as well as supporting their children as they navigate and adjust to canceled school activities, diminished social contact and a totally new way of learning online. Consider using video to communicate with parents as well. In addition to any emails, you may already send, create quick videos to update parents on how you will be shifting your instruction, what tools you’ll be using, what students can expect every day and how parents can support their children – and you! Video adds that additional personal touch and connection that is so valuable in stressful times like these.

Student-Created Videos (Learning)

Students learn best when they are the producers and creators!

Below are ideas on how to shift traditional classroom assignments to meaningful online learning experiences:

Book Talks

Stop Motion/Claymation

At-home science/STEM experiments video

Historical Documentaries

Podcasts (WeVideo has an audio-only export)

Public Service Announcements

Game Show

Video Scavenger Hunts

For more teacher-created ideas  check out our Ideas Hub and “WeVideo Every Day: 40 Ways To Deepen Learning in Any Class.”

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