Last week we sent out an email with information and resources to assist and support educators during the mandated school time off. We are continuing to update those resources and provide educators in Illinois the most relevant and robust resources we can. With the most recent updates from ISBE regarding “Act of God” days rather than E-learning days, we have adjusted the resources we are offering accordingly.
As such, we have created (and will continue updating) our website at ideaillinois.org/Home-Learning with learning activities focused on skill development in the areas of SEL and the 4 C’s (Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity). We will be going live on Monday, March 16th, at 10 a.m. (on Facebook Live and Twitter) to unpack the resources in our calendar. Also, please consider posting your stories of inspiration and ways you are supporting students to #ILschoolsstepup for all to see. As always, please remember, we are here for YOU. Reach out and let us know your needs!
We are in unprecedented times but we know that as dedicated and passionate educators, together we will find a way to rise up and create positive opportunities for those we serve. With that, the IDEA staff has been gathering suggestions and resources to support you during your planning and preparation for possible 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! We will be utilizing #IDEAil & the #ILedChat to share questions and best practices throughout the next few weeks. In addition, we can find other creative ways to make the best out of this difficult situation, including setting up virtual meetings with you and/or your students, creating unique learning experiences, sharing resources, or just to listen and give feedback. Please reach out to us via email or on social media (@ideaillinois) if you need our support.
Remember your WHY! The skill development and learning targets continue to be the goal. Don’t make the technology the center of your design.
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.
Start practicing now with the framework and tools you'd consider using for remote learning.
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.
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?
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.