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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Learning Online

A laptop is an amazing tool for learning when used well. 
Last night after curriculum night, a number of parents asked me about online learning. That led me to revisit our efforts to help both parents and students access online learning in a helpful, engaging, and empowering way.

I believe that learning well benefits from a balanced approach with multiple efforts, resources, and tools, and as part of that, I do believe that the use of technology holds a valuable place.

So, how do I help students access technology in ways that help them learn.

First, I need to make the programs and platforms accessible. So today I worked on a password card that students can use to add passwords and follow instructions to access good tools. I'll keep a copy of the password card available online too so that it can be easily viewed and updated.

Next we need to talk as a class about online learning. How can we make the most of this terrific learning option. When we talk, we'll discuss issues such as time, routine, productive challenge, progress, digital citizenship, and asking for help.

After that students need time to practice in class so I can help them out with regard to accessing the tools, making good choices, and more.

I also need to communicate all of this information with families and colleagues which I'll do via our weekly newsletter.

Lastly, and happily, I need to stay current with regard to trying out new tools and revising choices as tools and students' needs change. Fortunately our tech access policies have shifted which gives me greater ability to do this.