This page provides resources to support school districts as they transition to remote learning for students to work from home for reasons such as the social distancing due to the coronavirus, bad weather days, or individual student needs.
Remote learning includes everything from distance learning to fully online learning, or e-learning. Low-tech and high-tech strategies may be needed to accomplish your goals. Online learning experiences can take place synchronously or asynchronously. When students work synchronously, the teacher and students all work on lessons at the same time, but asynchronous learning allows students to work on lessons at different times. Both can be effective, as always, it requires a well designed lesson plan aligned to the learning objectives which incorporate activities at the appropriate depth and rigor with support to assist students in practicing and applying the concepts and skills.
When planning remote learning, start by considering how you'll prepare and support both students and staff. Look for ways to empower your teachers and staff as your greatest resources! Plan how you'll engage and communicate with parents along the way.
Steps to Plan Online Learning:
- Assess availability of online resources and technology access.
- Determine your target outcomes.
- Identify your learning expectations and timelines.
- Plan ways to scaffold and differentiate.
- Prepare training, support, and tools for constructive feedback/evaluations.
- Define your quantitative and qualitative measures of success.
Factors that Influence Online Learning Outcomes:
Online Curriculum Resources
Online resources for curriculum and instruction are limitless and ever-changing. Some are free, some not. Not all are created equal and not all are high quality. Use a critical eye to evaluate the credibility of the online resource to make sure the organization or designer is well-respected. Investigate the resource to ensure content is accurate and pedagogy is sound and also aligns with best practices and your approach.
Explore Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy as a guide for planning online learning experiences. All of the same practices for planning lesson design apply to online learning, such as beginning with the end in mind (Wiggins & McTighe, n.d.), while keeping in mind digital context.
Literate students are generally able to comprehend, monitor, identify, annotate, and more. However, new literacies in the 21st Century go far beyond these skills. Students must now be able to curate, evaluate, collaborate, communicate, produce, synthesize, and much more when it comes to the use of technology in education.
Online Content, Product, & Process Tools
Enhance or transform teaching and learning with online content, process tools, and resources to create products. A variety of online resources exist - some are designed for teachers to use while others can be used directly by students.
|Online Content & Products||Online Process Tools|
|website research||note taking|
|targeted skills instruction and practice||social bookmarking|
|digital storytelling||Google apps|
|textbooks||posting writing samples|
|open education resources (OERs)||peer collaboration|
|publishing/posting works||self checking|
Explore a variety of free online teacher resources organized by subject and grade level.
Open Educational Resources (OER)
Free online resources (OER) available for K-12 curriuclum include content-specific information, full online courses, activities, and teaching tools. Be sure to review the publishing source to ensure credibility of content.
Open Stax is managed by Rice University and offers online content for math, science, social sciences, humanities, and Advanced Placement course subjects.
edX is founded by Harvard and MIT with course content that is peer-reviewed and developed by a wide-range of universities, including UT-Austin.
Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons has a variety of online resources for K-12 subjects which are teacher-created and shared.
Online Meeting Platforms for Students and Staff
San Jose State University's "COSS FCAT: Using Discussion in Traditional, Hybrid, and Online Classes" article offers guidance for online discussions in a variety of contexts.
Scaffolding and Support for Special Student Populations
It's essential to plan ways to scaffold instruction and support special student popluations such as students who are eligible for special education, 504, gifted/talented, English language support, and other services.
G/T Resources for School Closures. The Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented (TAGT) offers a list of resources for educators, students, and parents from their members, followers, and partners on their website. Resources include free webinars, live broadcasting, and teacher lesson resources.
Remote, Online Proctored Exams
There are a variety of vendors who offer online proctoring services so a school can provide a secure testing experience for students to complete their exams from home on their personal or school-issued computer. Schools might use this service to administer final exams, unit exams, or benchmark exams. When a school leader considers integrating an online testing system, it's important to plan for the integration considering current online systems, such as the school's learning management and grade reporting systems. Be sure to plan how and where teachers will design or upload their exams, how students' testing accomodations will be provided in the online setting, what the grading process will look like, and how you'll ensure the exam is taken in a secure test setting.
UT High School leaders developed a Remote, Online Proctored Exams Planning Guide to assist school leaders in their process of selection and implementation of a remote, online exam proctoring service.
UT High School's Texas Assessment Conference Presentation: Transitioning to Online Proctored Testing: Lessons Learned
How to Make a Laptop Child Proof or Kid Safe. National Council for Safety, Protection and Wellness.
A variety of organizations offer free training to support teachers in planning online learning lessons.
Mental Health Resources
Often the transition to remote learning may happen during stressful situations. It's essential to plan support for students, staff, and families, by provided resources such as Coping During COVID-19: Resources for Parents, which is prepared by the Child Mind Institute.
UTHS Online Courses and Digital Curriculum for Partner Districts
Districts can incorporate UTHS online courses in two ways:
- Students take courses facilitated by a UTHS certified teacher of record.
- Districts purchase course site-licenses for their teachers of record to facilitate instruction.
To enroll students at your campus or district in the UTHS online courses or digital curriculum, contact our staff at UTHSpartner@austin.utexas.edu to coordinate services, then submit both the Institutional Course Request Form and the Institutional Bulk Course Enrollment Form. Please allow at least 2 days to process your request, then students can access their courses and get started.
Allen, R. (2010, August). Dawn of the new literacies. Education update, 52(8). Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/education-update/aug10/vol52/num08/Dawn-of-the-New-Literacies.aspx
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Understanding by Design® Framework by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins. Retrieved from https://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/publications/UbD_WhitePaper0312.pdf
Catapano, J. (n.d.). Technology in the classroom: the new literacy. Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/technology-classroom-new-literacy
Knobel, M. & Lankshear, C. (2014, October). Studying new literacies. Journal of adolescent & adult literacy, 58(2), 97-101. Retrieved from https://ila.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jaal.314
Labbo, L. & Place, K. (2010). Fresh perspectives on new literacies and technology integration. Voices from the middle, 17(3), 9-18. Retrieved from https://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Journals/VM/0173-mar2010/VM0173Fresh.pdf
Richardson, W. (2014, August 11). New literacies in the classroom. Retrieved from https://modernlearners.com/new-literacies-in-the-classroom/
U.S. Department of Education. Office of Educational Technology. (2017). Reimagining the role of technology in education: 2017 national education technology plan update. Washington, D.C. Retrieved from https://tech.ed.gov/files/2017/01/NETP17.pdf