Remote teaching – quick tips

With schools and other educational institutions facing closures and more and more students self-isolating,  flipping your classroom and blending your students’ learning experience seems the new normal in which the technology yet again has come to the rescue. While some of us will boldly embrace the new reality, those more technologically timid will be more cautious if not totally stunned with “Where do I start?” question. 

  1. How will I contact my students? 

  2. How will I share the material? 

  3. How will I explain things? 

  4. What kind of homework may I ask them to do? 

  5. How will they submit the homework? 

  6. What kind of feedback will I give them and how? 

How will I contact my students? 

1. Create a group email
2. Set up a closed Facebook group.
3. Set up class Twitter
4. Use Remind app (equivalent to Whatsapp), totally GDPR friendly

Made with Padlet

How will I share the material?

1. Use Planbook (or similar platform – PlanbookEdu, PerfectPlanbook or mystudylife school planner) 
2. Use any cloud such as One Note or G-Drive  
3. Use padlet (see the example on the left with materials on Living in Scotland. If you’re asked for the password, key in 12345) 
4. Take advantage of the VLE used at your workplace such as Moodle or Google Classroom  

Jamie from Teacher’s Tech on how to sart with Padlet. 

  • Planbookedu – very similar to Planbook; simple and very user friendly. Free version is fine but if you want more features you have to pay $25.00 a year.
  • Planbookplus – version similar to Planbook costs $25.00. There is also a master version with a range of excellent features such as interactive assesssments etc. It costs $35.00. Video here.
  • Common Curriculum – an excleent tool for planning lessons and units. Very good for team work planning and standards tracking. You can post your lessons on class website created by the platform. The free version is limited to lesson planning though.
  • – good for team or project work planning
  • Planboard – you can grade your students’ work and mark their attendance as well. Free for individual students. The lessons and/or materials can be shared with students/teachers as pdf.
  • Standards Planner – not ideal as a standard calendar based planner but very good for planning units or lessons. Linked to platforms such as G-Drive, Khan Academy or CK-12.
  • Ogment – watch the video here.

How will I explain things?

Synchronous teaching/learning

It involves real time streaming and”meeting” your students online in real time.  

There are lots of really fantastic platforms for online meetings but free versions they offer can be quite limited. You can by-pass the price of Adobe Connect (one of the best) by signing up for a 90-day trial period.

Other options:  

Microsoft Teams  free, very user-friendly, offers a number of features – chats, video meetings, sending files, screen sharing, online voting etc. Watch a short tutorial 

Zoom–  free but a video meeting is limited to 40 minutes; offers lots of features.

Both offer screen-sharing option which is super fab as you can present whatever you want to your student/students or vice-versa. 

Finally, the one I use – Google Meets which evolved of Google Hangouts. Watch the Jamie’s tutorial here.


Asynchronous teaching/learning

You record videos in advance. 

Loom decided to go the extra mile to make the product accessible to as many people as possible, especially now. Changes: UNLIMITED recording in the free plan. TRIALS of Loom Pro have been extended from 14 to 30 days. Most importantly, Loom Pro is free for teachers and students at K-12 schools, universities, or educational institutions. Forever. So sign up and enjoy all features of a pro account

Flip your classroom

What kind of homework may I ask them to do?

PICTURES: What’s going on in this picture? – ideas taken form NYTimes website. Speaking might be recorded via Vocaroo or on the phone. Again, padlet is an excellent platform to share the recordings. 

PROMPTS: for writing for example commenting on the video on collaborative padlet.    :

ONLINE JOURNALS: an online journal that students can keep private or share with you to get feedback. Examples – penzu (very secure), 5 minute journal or Day One. More examples here

How will they submit the homework?

  1. Email
  2. Padlet
  3. Penzu
  4.  As visuals 
  5. Stored in the cloud 

What kind of feedback will I give them and how?

  1. Audio feedback using Vocaroo
  2. Video feedback using one of the screen recorders
  3. Comments in Word or Comments/Suggestions in Google Docs

Both can be shared with a student as a link or downloaded as an mp3/mp4. 

Google Classroom Rubrics

I personally love the in-house Google Classroom rubrics I use for a range of assignments submitted by my students You can either import any rubrics or design your own and then re-use them or adapt. 

Examples of rubrics I use

How I grade using these rubrics

Feedback - student view

Richard Byrne's tutorial

Watch a tutorial on Google Rubrics from one of the best (if not THE  best) experts on technology in teaching – Richard Byrne. 

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Written by 

ESOL teacher at Edinburgh College