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COVID-19 has closed schools across the nation. Consequently, without missing a beat, teachers have stepped up to ensure their students still have learning opportunities. American Board has an alumni base of more than 10,000 teachers up to the task of teaching remotely. We reached out to our graduates to learn what tools they are using as they embark on the new journey of teaching remotely. See their answers below! 

Getting Creative Without Internet Access

Knowing that not all students have internet access, teachers are getting creative. Many have sent study packets home to their students. Others are emphasizing learning life skills during this time. For example, students are being encouraged to help with chores around the house and learn new skills like cooking or gardening. 

Some students may feel overwhelmed or scared by the change in their routines. Therefore, teachers are calling students to check in on their well-being. Some smaller districts have even organized “teacher parades” where the teachers drive around the community honking and waving signs at their students’ homes to show support. 

Impressively, one district had the creative idea of parking Wi-Fi enabled school busses around their community. This move allows students to access the busses’ internet while in their homes.

Leveraging Internet Access

Google Classroom

The vast majority of American Board graduates say they have utilized Google Classroom as they are teaching remotely. Google Classroom allows teachers to upload study materials, distribute and collect assignments, and even give secure quizzes. Additionally, Google Classroom is a great resource to continue using once schools resume their usual scheduling.  This article provides a quick how-to guide about Google Classroom. 

Zoom

Second most common, American Board teachers are using Zoom to communicate face-to-face with their students.  Zoom allows teachers to communicate with students one-on-one or as a class. Furthermore, Zoom has implemented a great background feature that hides whatever may be in the background of a student’s home. This privacy feature can allow students to feel more comfortable using the video chat app, maintaining a sense of privacy about their home life.

Flipgrid

Free for teachers and students, Flipgrid allows teachers to share topic assignments and students to share a short recording they’ve made on the assignment. Flipgrid has even developed The Educator’s Guide to Flipgrid, a great how-to manual explaining how the app works for all grades and subject areas. Perhaps even more helpful, Flipgrid has made it easy by sharing more than 10,000 ready-to-launch topics for teaching.

Discord

Discord provides a free and invite only class space for educators, meaning you can host a chat room for your class only. You can use Discord to host “office hours” or teach a live class remotely. Previously, Discord only allowed 10 people on a live session, but they’ve increased that number to 50 to allow teachers to use the service. Click here to learn more about how you can leverage Discord to reach your students.

Additional Resources

Connections Academy provides K-12 online learning throughout the school year. Being experts in the world of online schooling, they have released this excellent resource to help brick-and-mortar teachers as they work to engage their students remotely. 

Additionally, a recent American Board blog post covers low-cost professional development resources for teachers. The blog post highlights online opportunities for teachers to use while home due to COVID-19. Read it here.

Lastly, more than 100 American Board graduates have submitted video footage about their experiences teaching remotely. New videos are uploaded daily to American Board’s Youtube page.

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