I spoke with a range of teachers and coaches across the city to hear their experiences working with Google Classroom, the platform that most teachers used for remote learning this spring. Common themes emerged: the platform’s potential to foster collaboration with colleagues and communication with families and the challenge of striking the right balance between consistency and flexibility.
Early childhood educators face a unique challenge with remote learning. In our classrooms, learning occurs through hands-on experiences guided by an intentional facilitator. How can we recreate this virtually?
I’ve come to the conclusion there is no program or platform that can recreate the magic of collaborative learning that our youngest students need. I have also learned no computer program will provide the self-directed remote experience which families and caregivers are looking for.
When schools transitioned to remote learning, I was anxious not just about schoolwork but about socialization. How can teachers maintain an engaging, interactive relationship with their students when they can no longer be in the same room? Educators share the same concerns.
After New York City school buildings shut in mid-March, teachers quickly discovered that recreating their former classroom schedule and activities was not always practical. Remote learning has required us to reconceptualize our teaching practices to find new solutions to reach our students.
When I became a middle school math teacher 12 years ago, one of the first things I noticed was how chatty students can be. So I was surprised when, after I asked my students to discuss a math problem, strategy or solution with their group members, the room would suddenly get quieter.