I'm here today with one message: Keep it simple.
Those of us who are active in the ed tech world probably have lots of ideas for how to implement home learning. Some of our favorite tools are now being offered for free (due to the pandemic)! Our expertise in designing blended or flipped lessons is paying off! Everyone is being so great about sharing resources, so we have a whole world of ideas at our fingertips!
We need to be reminded: Keep it simple.
This is a huge change for our students. It will feel weird to them. They will be balancing other things, like siblings vying for use of the technology, the loss of their usual social outlets, and feeling cooped up at home. Along with that, we are kidding ourselves if we think the kids aren't feeling the undercurrent of stress running through society right now. We need to not overwhelm them and keep it simple.
This is a huge change for our parents. They are dealing with childcare issues, figuring out how to continue with their jobs, and for some, how to continue to put food on the table. They may be thinking about elderly parents, having enough toilet paper, and access to medical care if needed. We need to not expect that they will be sitting next to their students, helping them with schoolwork every day. For their sake, we need to keep it simple.
And this is a huge change for our teachers! Some teachers are ready and building lessons as we speak! But I bet each one of us has a face that comes to mind when we think about somebody who is not as excited about technology. All teachers, no matter what their level of comfort with technology is, are probably feeling a little intimidated and worried about their students, how they can teach online, and what will happen with tests/graduation requirements/evaluations/etc. We live in this wonderful world of sharing, but let's not dump too much information on our teachers who are adjusting - let's keep it simple.
So what does simple mean?
- Relationships first. Connect with kids. Connect with each other.
- "Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind." ~Brene Brown. A little clarity goes a long way.
- Communicate. The unknown is scary. Hearing from each other makes us feel a little less alone.
- Don't neglect self-care. One of the downsides of the internet is that we are all connected, 24/7. Step away and take care of yourself, too.
- Above all, let grace and compassion reign. We are all in uncharted waters, and we are all figuring it out together. Some of us will adjust more smoothly than others. Let's put our differences aside and be gracious as we try, take risks, fail, and try again!