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IDEAs for @home Learning

The IDEA staff has been gathering suggestions and resources to support you during your planning and preparation for e-learning within your districts. We have attempted to compile information for all grade levels and for whatever current learning platforms you may be using. We wish each of you the best and please know that we are here to support you!

General Advice

  1. Remember your WHY! The skill development and learning targets continue to be the goal. Don’t make the technology the center of your design.
  2. Don’t focus on trying to recreate the “normal content” you would in the classroom. Instead take part of what you normally do and create remote learning experiences around that. It's not about what the students complete but instead what you create for them to work on.
  3. Start practicing now with the framework and tools you'd consider using for remote learning.
  4. Don't add too much "new". While there are plenty of tech tools available, it’s important not to water down the content you are delivering with too many new tech tools at once.
  5. Plan your remote learning experiences around what you want your learners to be able to know, do and understand. Capitalize on moments when students can demonstrate this in creative ways. For example, can they record a video of themselves reading a recipe and demonstrate their understanding of fractions while cooking in the kitchen versus a worksheet or online program?
  6. Consider accessibility and equity. Now is more important than ever to provide voice and choice. Some students will easily be able to continue learning at home. Others, it will be incredibly difficult for them. Make sure you have alternatives for students who will be impacted differently. We can’t just plan online content and expect that to fix everything. This is also true for sending home packets of papers for students.

Additional Resources & Links

ISBE Resources

eLearning from IL School Districts / Organizations:

e-Learning Resources from IDEA Partners: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting school closures, we have curated a list of e-Learning resources and tips from our IDEA partners. Here you will find articles, blog posts, resources, offers, and more to help you and you learners. Check back often as we continue to add to this document.

Internet Access: This resource provides detailed information on your local organizations that provide discounted distance learning devices, remote learning programs and free wireless internet access in Chicago.

Special Education Resources / Info: Links to U.S. Dept of Ed and ISBE Recommendations as well as resources from Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE).

  • educatingalllearners.org - EDUCATING ALL LEARNERS DURING THE COVID-19 DISASTER - An alliance dedicated to equity for complex learners
(SEL)learning: This framework was created using CASEL and is a collaboration of ideas for students to focus on social emotional learning during this difficult time. All activities are unplugged and are created at the elementary, middle school and high school levels.

Information for PARENTS

Amazing Educational Resources (free subscriptions): This list continues to be updated as more and more companies share their offerings.

Templates that you could adopt as is or copy and modify to better suit the needs of your children, classroom or district that include self-paced, interactive content--exercises, videos and articles--for students in every grade and in most major subject areas.

Computer Science Resources for Students and Families: A list of unplugged and online computer science activities for educators to modify and for students to try at home! Curated by CS Dept of Chicago Public Schools

Learning Keeps Going: To help you keep the learning going, IDEA and a coalition of national and state organizations have curated strategies, tips and best practices for teaching online.

Wide Open School helps make learning from home an experience that inspires kids, supports teachers, relieves families, and restores community. It is a free collection of the best online learning experiences for kids curated by the editors at Common Sense. 

AppleEDU: As K–12 and higher education institutions around the world adopt remote learning, Apple has new resources to support you.

GoogleEDUWith school closures, teachers can keep their lessons going remotely: Jennie Magiera, GoogleGlobal Head of Education Impact, pulled together some strategies for shifting to a remote learning environment. Here are additional resources for those using GoogleEDU.

    MicrosoftEDU: To help make the transition to distance learning, Microsoft has created resources, training and how-to guides that we hope will help support  IT, educators, staff and students as they make this transition.

    Tools for Districts transitioning to online learning

    • Digital Equity Toolkit (from CoSN): A toolkit for schools in supporting students & families in Out-of-School Learning
    • Rapid Transition to Online Learning:  RTOL is a free emergency roadmap for a rapid transition to remote learning during forced school closures. This one-hour program will walk you through a simple step-by-step guide to maintain your continuity of teaching and learning in a crisis. The RTOL program is based on the Flipped Learning framework.
    • Crowdsourced list of resources from educational stakeholders regarding the impact of COVID-19 including district plans, digital equity resources and more.

    E-Learning Alternatives: Strategies that keep the focus on the learning target during remote learning experiences.

    Enjoy opportunities to virtually visit a variety of places across the globe!

    KidLit Events: Great literary activities. Check out this calendar of live virtual events: live chats, streams & AMA w/ authors.


    • Library Of TechShop Topics curriculum that can be utilized by teachers virtually to teach fun, engaging, tech programs whether for all students or to run a TechGirlz club.
    • Free, tech workshops, and camps for middle school girls (5th-8th grade) year-round 
    • Are you a high school student who wants to volunteer with TechGirlz? You can now do so virtually and more details can be found here.  Anyone who is interested in volunteering over the age of 18 can do so here.

    Upcoming Events for @Home Learning

    • No upcoming events

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    Email: info@ideaillinois.org
    Call: 630 628 1088

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