Click above to listen to this podcast episode. Below is the transcript for Student-Centered World Podcast Episode 25: “Making a Lesson Fully Digital“
Hey, everyone, and welcome to the Student-Centered World Podcast. I am hoping that today’s podcast is a moment of “whoosah” for you if you will. So, a lot of the teachers that I have been talking to have been saying that they are beyond frustrated and exhausted because their schools or their districts keep changing the rules as they’re playing the game. So, how a lot of schools started, the school year has changed. Some districts had said that things are going to be one way and then abruptly change to something else. There are kids coming and going depending on what the protocols are for your school and it’s throwing everybody for a loop. So, this past summer, I had done a series on how to do blended learning.
One of the things that I preached over and over during that series was that if you prepare for a blended learning classroom environment, then it doesn’t matter if your school is online. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hybrid or if you are 100% in the classroom. The lesson plan that you create for a hybrid learning environment will work for all three of those situations. So, we’re getting into a time now that things are changing, we haven’t really settled into what the new normal is yet and we still need to be prepared at a moment’s notice for things to change again. So, what I wanted to talk about a little bit today is the concept of how to create lessons that prepare for all of the scenarios.
So, everybody, I don’t want to say got into a negative groove because most people finally found something that was working in some fashion and was running with it. But then when things change, they’re starting over from scratch again. If you can plan moving forward with a blended model in mind you will be able to successfully teach in every single environment. That could change, you go home one night, and you find out the next day, it’s different, or hey, in two weeks, we’re switching or whatever comes your way. So, I wanted to take some time right now, to give you some food for thought to think about how you can do that moving forward and that way at least until everything does move to the new normal you have a plan in place for no matter what comes your way.
Welcome to the Student-Centered World podcast where we talk about all things hands-on teaching and keeping your energy and sanity in the classroom. This teacher turned consultant is making it her mission to help as many teachers as possible become the best version of themselves and keep their passion for teaching on fire. It’s her hope that we never forget why we desire to have a passion for educational progress. This is Student-Centered World, and this is Jenn Breisacher.
What I wanted to touch on today, as I’ve said now if you had $1 for every time I said it, you would have to worry about school this year, but blended learning is the only model that you can do 100% in the classroom hybrid or distance. So, who knows what’s going to happen but if you’re planning out a got the wheels turning about what you can do for that outside of the classroom experience, then take the in-class experience but figure out how you can be doing it digitally as well. So, some of the things that I had mentioned before, is it something that you could have a whole group discussion or a debate or some type of a simulation or whatever on Zoom or Google Meets? Can you create breakout rooms where the kids have to go and solve whatever based on the information that was brought in, etc? Can you create escape rooms? You can do them in the breakout rooms, but if you make an escape room assignment, they’re very, very popular, very trendy right now.
If you go on Teachers Pay Teacher’s or Pinterest or anything you’ll see a bazillion things come up, or you can make your own. I’ve made them in Google Forms before and that’s really fun. Again, they can work on them in the digital groups, no issue. Can you create a scavenger hunt? Can you create real-life experiences within their house? So, we just learn about this concept. Go around your house try to find something and then bring it and everybody can present what they found or if you’re doing measurements can you cook something with measurements and record yourself. You could do a flip grid, you can just record on your phone, you can add it in, share it, screen share, there’s a lot of different options like that and we’re very much thinking outside of the box. Our trainings are available in the Student-Centered World Facebook group.
If you haven’t checked them out, this is the place where you could find some great ideas as well. In the group again, if you just go on Facebook and search Student-Centered World mastermind, in that group, under the unit’s tab we have 39 different trainings that we put together in the spring to help people with different platforms or apps or concepts or different things that you can be doing while distance learning. You could feel free to go in there. The first bunch of them are actually recorded by people who were in that mastermind group and then other ones I filtered in from YouTube if people had heard about something, but wasn’t familiar with the platform enough to be able to pre-record a video on it. But go in there, check those out, come up with some ideas. I know now me giving you these ideas is even more to digest. But at the current juncture that we’re in, I don’t really necessarily see that as a problem as much as a solution.
So again, I keep talking about mindset shifts. Perfect example, you now have at your disposal all these ideas and it might seem overwhelming but stop and break them down, mind map a little bit. You can take a piece of paper and just start drawing ideas and figures and arrows. It doesn’t have to be pretty. I learned once that if you take different Post-It notes, I have a wall. I’ll take different Post-It notes and as I have ideas that kind of flow write things down and it might be color-coded by markers or the Post-It notes themselves just to try to map out what I have going on in my head to piece it together and then go from there. You have a lot of ideas at your disposal. When you’re coming up with this stuff to do in the classroom, even if you come up with these ideas like I was just talking about, that’s all stuff that you could still do in the classroom. You can do it digitally or you can do it in the classroom.
So, you just want to make sure that you are coming up with lesson plans in all of this that no matter what suddenly switches, it’s not hard for you to make that transition. I had mentioned before that a lot of the teachers that I had worked with pre-pandemic said that once they went the distance, it wasn’t that hard. Everybody did distance learning in the spring. So, it’s not like this is brand new. Everybody has done it before and everybody kids, parents, teachers will be more prepared for it, have a little bit more time to digest it, and sort of know how things work. You’re not learning all of it at once unless you teach kindergarten and then everything is a big learning curve anyway, for sure. But sit on that for a little while. If you need to start mapping out your thoughts, make sure that you do that. But if you have questions or comments or concerns, let me know. Happy to help happy to do whatever I can. That’s why I’m doing this, to begin with.
So as always, you can find me on Instagram or Facebook at Student-Centered World. You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, you can join the Facebook mastermind group that we’ve talked about just on Facebook. You can search for Student-Centered World Mastermind. We have a ton of people in there that love to bounce ideas off one another, and it’s been a really, really helpful and kind group to be a part of. That’s actually one of the requirements. You can’t go in there and be a Debbie Downer or a naysayer or somebody who just pokes the bear and causes problems. You have to be nice and you have to be respectful and constructive. So, everybody in there fits that criteria quite well.
So, I hope to connect with you through one of those avenues and I hope that you are going to have yourself a wonderful week and I will see you again next Saturday at 9 am Eastern Standard Time for another episode of the Student-Centered World podcast. Take care.