COVID-19 Educator Help Desk

Schedules for connecting with students online

  • 1.  Schedules for connecting with students online

    Posted 04-15-2020 08:29
    Edited by Margaret Lee 04-15-2020 08:29

    This community has been very helpful -- thanks to all for sharing and posting.

    I am working to help develop protocols or 'schedules' for live video conferencing with students as touchpoints during the week. We are not teaching synchronous classes.

    I would love to see what other schools and districts have done to create equitable but manageable and flexible schedules to accomplish this task.

    We are thinking that the "calendar" of options for elementary, middle, and high will look very different, so any models that you can share will help to inform our thinking.  



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    Margaret Lee
    Frederick County Public Schools
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  • 2.  RE: Schedules for connecting with students online

    Posted 04-15-2020 19:16
    Hi Margaret,
    In our district we have been given no real guidance on when to schedule video conferencing but in our secondary schools we have all somewhat agreed on much of the following:
    1. Try to schedule video conferences during the time period that you would have those students in class normally.
    2. Record the conference so that it can be shared (individually in classroom) with those students that could not attend.
    3. We have scheduled meets after students have been introduced to a topic rather than direct instruction via a conference.  So that conference would be more of Q and A style conference with students.
    4. Be flexible is probably the most important component.

    Hope this helps
    Brian

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    Brian Cauthers
    Science Teacher
    MCSD
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  • 3.  RE: Schedules for connecting with students online

    PLN Leader
    Posted 04-15-2020 19:58
    We have a different population, so I'll try to summarize as succinctly as possible. Please keep in mind that there is only one teacher per content area, one middle school teacher, and three elementary school teachers for a grand total of 10 teachers for a k-12 school. There are almost no devices for our students so almost all communication is over the phone.

    Each person takes a turn calling to check on the student one day. If they have a question about science and you're the Spanish teacher, you have the science teacher call back.

    Middle and elementary don't have quite so many extra calls, but sometimes they want to talk to the behavior specialist or their child study team case worker.

    We set up office hours when each of the teachers are dedicated to be at their phones and computers to respond to emails and answer questions. I think if more students had devices, the office hours would be useful to them. If your plan is live video conferencing, I think office hours might be a good solution. Ask the teachers. They know their students and they may think of a solution that no one else has considered yet.

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    Jessica Shupik
    Assistant Supervisor of Educational Programs
    New Jersey Office of Education
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  • 4.  RE: Schedules for connecting with students online

    Posted 04-15-2020 20:17
    Hi,

    We are trying to be extremely flexible in how we are using video conferencing in connecting with students.  We do not have a formal schedule.  Teachers offer time slots that students can jump in to ask questions and receive directions/feedback.  Some teachers are taking the flipped approach.  They are recording their lessons and sending the recording (a very shortened version) to their students.  I know that our JH teachers just communicate with each other about the time that they will have Google Meets for their students and each teacher just works around the schedule.  Our lower elementary teachers are using platforms like Flipgrid to connect with there students.  The number one thing that has worked for us in regards to scheduling is being flexible.  Offering different times throughout the course of the day/week for teachers to connect to their students in helpful.

    Google Meet now integrates well with Google Classroom.  This has made connecting even that much easier.

    Best of luck,

    Marcy:)

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    Marcy Brugger
    Dist. Technology Integration Specialist
    Elmwood 322
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  • 5.  RE: Schedules for connecting with students online

    Posted 04-16-2020 04:11
    Different situation but thought it might be useful.  I am in a secondary IB international school in Rome, going into our 7th week of closure today.  Our schedule was that each course had 2 90 minute blocks and 1 45 minute block per week.  Our students now span 15-hour time differences as many returned to their country of origin (Hong Kong to California) with the majority of them still in Rome, so we teach synchronously within one of the 90-minute classes to keep everyone organized.  Teachers record the live meeting through Zoom or Meet and post it to the Google Classroom or email it to students who were not present and we ask them to note when they have seen it for attendance.  Initially, they were recording an hour of video or more and we had to encourage them to make shorter pieces to keep the students' attention and to make it easier for them to take breaks.  Most teachers also post material and a short activity or assignment into the Classroom each week and are available for questions and clarification through the Stream, email and Chat.  No assignments can be posted on a Friday and due on the Monday, and students must have 48 hours minimum to submit.  Teachers send an outline of the week ahead to their dept chairs on Thursday for approval and then post it to the Classroom on Friday so students know what will happen the following week.  There is also a schedule for each grade maintained by the IB coordinator so that we know that there are no clashes or when someone needs to have some kind of assessment.  This is all a lot of work but past the first week or so it has gone really well.

    Elizabeth
    (cross posted to the IISN)

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    Elizabeth Nye Di Cataldo
    Dir Library, EdTech, and iLab
    St Stephen's School
    Rome, Italy
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  • 6.  RE: Schedules for connecting with students online

    Community Champion
    Posted 04-16-2020 08:25
    Hi Margaret,

    Not much to add to the strong responses already in the thread, except that if you do have a schedule, plan for significant breaks. Kids get these breaks at school as recess and meals, of course, but given that tons of time in front of a screen certainly doesn't equate to the experience of being in an active learning classroom, they likely need notably longer breaks between more formal learning moments over the course of a day.

    That said, to whatever extent you can help students go from being told when to be seated, to learning to use flexibility successfully with how to approach their learning, you're probably doing them the biggest favor you can in these circumstances.

    Best wishes,
    Rushton

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    Rushton Hurley
    Nonprofit Executive Director
    Next Vista for Learning
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  • 7.  RE: Schedules for connecting with students online

    PLN Leader
    Posted 04-16-2020 09:07
    Edited by Patricia Aigner 04-16-2020 09:07

    Hi Margaret and Everyone,

    What great feedback from our colleagues. I agree with you that calendar options and purpose must vary across K12.

    Expectations do vary spanning K12 in my district.  For example, we ran into problems with asynchronous learning at our HS level.  Teachers were scheduling extra help times that overlapped for students.  I witnessed this with my own daughter, who was quite frustrated.  The principal ended up making coursework more synchronous to accommodate schedules for 1200 kids.  Once the overlaps were ironed out, it was better for HS kids.  We have been charged in Vermont with Continuation of Learning, meaning it counts. I sense that school is the highest stakes for our oldest students trying to graduate and move on to college or the workplace.


    We have four Continuation of Learning plans in place across K12, and they are thorough and thoughtful. One crucial factor for us is "Wellness Checks."   We are a high poverty school district, and our students are under a lot of stress at home right now.  We want to stay connected as best we can when we are not face-to-face.  

    School is happening during the daytime every day. We are using Clever to have students access a wide variety of math, science, and reading supports as an asynchronous activity. Kids can work on assignments anytime using different LMS from SeeSaw to Google Classroom. Teachers are using screencasts and video conferencing too. We recognize that parents, as our partners, are an essential part of online education and want to make information available based upon their schedules.
    We are setting expectations that support teachers too. There is a high level of stress among our faculty who want to do the best job possible under these circumstances. My teachers are really growing as technology users, and many have had to improve their knowledge quickly.

    Patricia

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    Patricia Aigner

    Director Of Instructional Technology

    Rutland City Public Schools


    patricia.aigner@rcpsvt.org
    ------------------------------

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  • 8.  RE: Schedules for connecting with students online

    PLN Leader
    Posted 04-16-2020 09:14
    Our only guideline (MS) is that teachers must do any live teaching during their regularly scheduled period time.

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    Jennifer Freedman
    Library Media Specialist / Education Technology Specialist
    Lindenhurst Middle School
    Twitter: @jlf74
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  • 9.  RE: Schedules for connecting with students online

    Community Champion
    Posted 04-16-2020 12:46

    Great question and I love all the variety of responses here. 

    K-8 school in Michigan. We have been asking our teachers to use Google Classroom as our main hub - one stop for parents to go and see what is the learning plan for the week. Teachers can and do use external sites, but everything is posted on Classroom. Teachers create a weekly plan with suggested pacing guide for each day. They also have used colors to identify which assignments are "must do", ones they'd like the kids to complete if they have time, and then some enrichment/fun stuff (which more often than not involve active learning things like going on a nature walk, making something on paper, etc.)

    Several of our teachers in the younger grades have a running Google Meet scheduled for show and tell and just as a way to check in. Our junior high teachers are hosting live Q&A math and science "classes" where students can join in live. These are also recorded and posted in Classroom. We also are using the appointment slot feature in Google Calendar and allowing parents/students to sign up for one on one help with teachers, too.

    Most of the teaching is asynchronous and teachers push out content on Monday morning by 10am. Teachers set "office hours" where they are available for immediate feedback, but most of our teachers are also monitoring email and Google Classroom most days during their normal work hours. 



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    Allison Thompson
    Director of Technology
    St. Gerard School
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  • 10.  RE: Schedules for connecting with students online

    Posted 04-22-2020 15:22
    Edited by Margaret Lee 04-22-2020 15:22
    Sincere thanks to everyone for your helpful and thoughtful replies.  They have been very helpful as we have worked to craft a plan that will fit the needs of our students, parents, and staff.  I am so appreciative!

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    Margaret Lee
    Frederick County Public Schools
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  • 11.  RE: Schedules for connecting with students online

    PLN Leader
    Posted 04-24-2020 18:48
    Adding to the conversation. Our connection guidelines suggest that teachers must do any live teaching and demos during regularly scheduled classtime. 

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    David Lockett
    STEM Teacher
    Bok Academy
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