Building Engagement with Distance Learning

Continuity Example: Josie

What no-tech, low-tech, high-tech tools is the teacher offering to all students? Is this the same or different across classes/teachers?

  • The sixth-grade teaching team uses manipulatives during math, real items during science activities, and visual reminders around the room for all to utilize. They also use Google Classroom, as well as the full suite of Google apps on classroom Chromebooks (Chrome, Docs, Slides). iPads are utilized for SeeSaw during reading and language arts and for various math and reading games and activities such as BrainPop across the day. During times of distance learning, the teachers also use hand out packets, FlipGrid, Zoom, and suggest materials that could be used to make learning more hands-on at home.

What are the available no-tech, low-tech, high-tech tools, and strategies that this specific student usually uses?

  • Josie uses an AAC device for communication as well as some sign language and verbal language. She is familiar with and able to use, certain aspects of Google Classroom, and the full suite of Google apps (Chrome, Docs, Slides.) with limited functionality (able to use the explore button to find images or videos to learn about topics and can click and drag with hand under hand assistance), as well as online graphic organizers. She has difficulty writing with a pencil but is able to do paper/pencil tasks if given a word bank, fill in the blank type of writing, or choose from answers written on post-it notes.

Are there any other no-tech, low-tech, high-tech tools, and strategies that should be proactively introduced to prepare for the possibility of distance learning? (Note: This would include using any schoolwide platform or a supplemental support).

  • Josie would benefit from learning to use Read/Write Google for writing, speech to text, vocabulary review, and researching topics more fully. The visuals that can be provided from Read/Write Google would be beneficial to her engagement in grade-level academics. Additionally, educationally relevant games and resources such as BrainPop, Quizlet, BitsBoard Pro would offer foundational knowledge in a fun way for practicing skills and enhancing understanding. It is important to have Josie use her AAC device during online discussions. In addition, paraeducator support may need to be provided to individually prompt her responses, during identified online discussion groups. Josie should have a written and printed out schedule as well as paper copies of core language and content material with visuals added. These materials support greater participation if technology is not available.

Are there family members, including siblings, already familiar with the district platforms who can support the student?

  • Josie’s sister is familiar with district platforms, SeeSaw, FlipGrid, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Zoom.

Would family members be able to comfortably use these tools and strategies if they were supported in learning them? What would support look like? By whom, how, and when would that support be provided?

  • The family has one computer for use by both girls. Intentional scheduling of time online with Josie’s sister in mind will be necessary. Family members will need help in learning and using Zoom, Google Hangouts, and SeeSaw. The special educator on Josie’s team will provide this support to Josie’s sister and one or both parents, depending upon the jointly identified time for training.  The family will be provided with YouTube videos to use as reminders when needed. The family is very familiar with using Josie’s AAC device across the day and modeling ways to use it.