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August 21, 2020 MS Education Connection | Digital Learning in Public Schools August 21, 2020

MS Education Connection | Digital Learning in Public Schools

For parents with school-age children the coronavirus has made this back-to-school season anything but routine and for many students, virtual learning is the default instruction method, so today we’ll take a look at distance learning in public schools with our guests, John Kraman, Chief Information Officer for the Department of Education and Ridgeland high school counselor, Shemeka Hawkins. Listen as John shares details about how MDE is assisting with device distribution and technical support plus Shameka gives tips on how to navigate through the virtual classroom. Tips for distance learning and virtual classroom etiquette: Be on time for classes Punctuality is especially important for online classes because we are working in the absence of normal checks to ensure that everyone can be gathered to start classes on time Some helpful tips for being on time include using a calendar app of some kind and scheduling reminders 15 min ahead of time or some other increment of time that will best help you. Find a system that works for you that enables you to join the meeting the minute it begins, so you don’t miss out on those crucial first minutes of instruction. Wear proper attire Learning from the comfort of your home can make it feel desirable to dress down, but you want to make sure that you are looking presentable and professional each day, just like you would at school. While you may not be required to wear a uniform you want to dress in a way that is modest, clean, and avoids any unnecessary distraction. Choose a good location The most important thing is to have a clean and non-distracting background. If a student must work in their bedroom, make sure the bed or decorations are not prominent in the background. If possible, set up a desk with materials ready and a neutral background. Another factor is the possibility of background noise. If siblings are at all likely to be loud in the room, try to isolate yourself. If your parents have a headset that you can borrow, this will make your situation much more flexible. As much as possible try to make sure nothing from your location becomes a distraction to others in the class. Be prepared Creating an orderly learning space to do schoolwork will put you ahead of the game. Be sure you have room for your books, computer, pens, paper, and other supplies. Label folders to hold papers and notes for each subject. Go ahead and create electronic folders for each class on your computer and in your email program. If your virtual school provides an online planner, use it to schedule your personal appointments and create your “to do” list, with items ranked in order of urgency. Mute yourself If for reasons beyond your control noise becomes a problem in what you thought was a quiet space, please click the icon on the bottom left that will mute your audio. Try to do this sooner rather than later, and either ask family members to move or else move yourself. Participate fully Participating fully may look different depending on what your teacher is expecting of you at any particular moment. At times, your teacher will be leading the class in a discussion and this is when it is most important to speak up and share your thoughts. If your teacher is simply sharing instructions with you, then participating fully means paying close attention to be sure you understand, writing anything down you don’t want to forget, and being ready to ask any questions you have about confusing parts when the teacher is done. Even if it’s just taking notes, make the most of each online meeting by becoming as active a learner as you can be. Be respectful Don’t write anything that sounds angry or sarcastic even as a joke, because without hearing your tone of voice, your peers might not realize you’re joking. Always remember to say “please” and “thank you” when soliciting help from your classmates. Respect the opinion of your classmates. If you feel the need to disagree, do so respectfully and acknowledge the valid points in your classmate’s argument. Don’t badmouth others or call them stupid. You may disagree with their ideas but don’t mock the person. Keep up with all assignments It can be tempting to put off assignments with multiple days before their due date, however, doing this once can have a spiral effect which can cause you to rush to make up past assignments putting you at risk to get behind. Avoid the panic and the feeling of constantly being behind the ball by setting up routines for yourself that ensure you are always on top of your assignments. Adopt a mindset that each day you will put in a solid day’s work on school and learning. Give yourself little breaks and set micro-goals to ensure that you keep up the motivation. Set personal goals To make great things happen in your life, it helps to set goals for yourself. Think about what you’d like to accomplish, both short and long term. Is there a class you want to ace this semester? Maybe you want to get a certain grade point average or achieve a certain score on the SAT exams. Preparing for college and getting admission into a specific college might also be on your list. Be sure to put your goals in writing and post the list where you’ll see it often. Apologize for any breach of etiquette As human beings we all make mistakes, and mistakes are even more likely when a new set of experiences and challenges interrupt our normal routine. Online learning is going to involve that sort of interruption, and no one is expected to be perfect. However, if you do break one of these etiquette guidelines—whether it’s not being on time, loud background noise or not being prepared—come right out and apologize sooner rather than later. Apologizing shows respect to your classmates and your teacher and indicates that you are aware of the problem. If you don’t acknowledge it, your teacher may have to come to you to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Make that step unnecessary by calling it out yourself. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

MS Education Connection | Digital Learning in Public Schools

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