Virtually Ready

We let August third come sweep on by. Our summer here at ParaEducate was unlike any other we have had before, but we also know it was probably similar to others out there. Before we left work in June, our principal told us to keep an ear to our email. So every day, faithfully we checked and sometimes there felt like there was a lot, and sometimes there was nothing. And then the county we are sheltering in place had a few cases of COVID-19. But then it was more than a few cases. As a result, school for several neighboring counties will be Distance Learning.

In California, Senate Bill 98 passed (SB 98). This bill for the state of California defined expected 2020-2021 Distance Learning. This is a much more robust request for education of all students online than previously experienced from March until June. First of all, this is a virtual classroom of more minutes, approaching a more interaction online.

With more and more schools coming online, no matter how you feel about the situation at hand, let’s look at virtual education. What skills should a student bring into a virtual education.

The questions feel endless…

  • How to participate in class?
  • Getting in the habit of learning to respond. Have the camera on, thumbs up or down.
  • Learning how to respond to polls set up.
  • Adults need to get used to verbal interruptions for questions either by students or staff.
  • How to turn in things?
  • How to connect with students whose skills do not involve sitting?

What should we learn in the first week?

This separates into age groups. We’ll start the secondary group first. But keep in mind that these are suggestions.

For Secondary (grades 7 to 12), consider students learning:

  • How to navigate any learning management system
  • How to write an email
  • How to use a smartphone to make a scan of handwritten work
  • How to find help for academics, social-emotional

Elementary (grades 4 to 6)

  • How to learn to navigate a learning management system
  • How to ask a question in class
  • How to turn in work
  • How to find help for academics and social emotional
  • How to respond to emotions

Elementary (grades K-3)

  • How to ask questions in class
  • How to take a picture with the computer camera
  • How to turn in work digitally
  • How to type
  • How to identify their emotions and how to reflect

This is all well and good, but what about Paraeducators?

Paraeducators can help facilitate communication between teachers and students. Paraeducators can keep an eye on chat with older students for questions. Paraeducators can help with one on one interactions with students even digitally.

Do not under estimate the importance of teamwork in the upcoming weeks. There is a lot to be said for team work during this time.

A note:

ParaEducate will publish on Mondays for the remainder of the 2020 calendar year.

We thank you and welcome you back to the upcoming academic year.

Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online herehereherehere, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published during the academic school year on Mondays, unless a holiday or announced day off. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.

About paraeducate

ParaEducate is a company run to help reach out to paraeducators or paraprofessionals in public K-12 schools, giving advice, talking about publications that ParaEducate produces, and other useful information regarding working in public school settings.
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