‘Cause You Know We’ll Make It Through [Distance Learning]

However you feel about the return to school in Fall 2020, the truth is that many districts will be going into at least partial distance learning.

Distance Learning is not something that is naturally taught in most academic experiences. But here we are adults distance learning and Distance Teaching.

Resources are scattered. It is not just about getting lessons that maybe students will key into and attempt to demonstrate a connection to the academic material.

Some resources for you:

I got a chance to work on this set of resources in the earliest part of Distance Learning. Resources have grown quite a bit since the original launch.

https://sites.google.com/view/distance-learning-specialed/home

This YouTube with Amy Hanreddy from TASH is great if you haven’t seen it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LmXec7hDrI&fbclid=IwAR0xK0eKbc2z9tyMN_vjVxXBY0S127pJHuHaofukIFEdkvNlrVZfd70WNNg

I liked this resource from the TIES Center a lot. Last week, I was at KU-SOARS virtually and the TIES Center had folks presenting on the 5 C Process to help case managers and families navigate making IEPs work for students. At that presentation, the TIES Center announced that they would make their presentation available this week with resources for the 5 C Process

Actually, the TIES Center is a great resource, check it out: https://tiescenter.org/

But How will we Distance Learn/Teach?

This part is rather murky still. Most districts will be starting in the next few weeks. I will be among staff returning to Distance Learning.

Some things to think about:

  • Increase communication. Talk with the support providers, talk with the student, talk with the general education teacher, talk with your site administrators, talk with other staff at the site. It is all too easy to bubble in and not work things out or connect with others. 
  • If you are a distance learning/teaching program, remember what will work for you at this moment, will it be head down, one day at a time, or chunks at a time.
  • Touch in with the students. Whether you are using PearDeck or chat features, the students who are able to enjoy this activity connect and connect in a moderated manner.
  • Be mindful of how much work is going to be independent and how much work is interdependent. Not every student with a disability is able to do work in the same capacity.
  • No matter what: adults set the tone. We can be unsure about Distance Learning/Teaching. We also need to remind students that they are literally the trendsetters for something school children have thought about for ages since computers were made available. We are going to learn something new in the upcoming months. Everything will make sense eventually.

We can be unsure about Distance Learning/Teaching. We also need to remind students that they are literally the trendsetters for something school children have thought about for ages since computers were made available.

Distance Learning this time around is going to be much more refined than it was the few months before June. We all can do this job. It can be quite a challenge but those of us still in education are still here for a reason.

  • Schoolchildren did think about this for ages when computers were being made available.

    Through my student years and afterwards I took on every distance learning opportunity you could think of – from a memoir-writing course to design and architecture and a botany course on nature and culture.

    And, yes, it will be refined.

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