Remote/Hybrid Teaching 101

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The Purpose of This Page

It is safe to say teachers during remote/hybrid teaching are having difficulties reaching students. Some students have poor Internet connection at home, some are easily distracted by the items in their room, and some who tune in to the remote learning session fall asleep or mute their computers entirely. There is not one teacher I have talked to this year that has not mentioned the getting students engaged “struggle bus”. The question seems to be as follows: How can we engage students when over half of them are at home?

Timeline Of Technology in My Teaching Career

Here, I have a timeline of my technology usage and evolution in my teaching career, even in a pandemic.

Epiphany: Hybrid Learning/Teaching Style

Because you are reading this, I am going to assume you are an educator trying to survive the 2020-2021 school year. This year presented itself with a multitude of questions, which I address my own in the YouTube video embedded on this page. I have had many learning epiphanies this school year, but I have addressed the main ones in this video. Thanks for watching! 🙂

Engaging Students When They Won’t Turn Their Cameras On

We all know this struggle; we have yet to see some of our students’ faces! How can we combat this issue? Below, I have included games I have used to inspire students to turn on their cameras, if this has been an issue for you. I have included instructions on how to play and URL links (if applicable). I hope this helps!

Guess Who: I did this at the end of a class when I had some extra time, and I let them know it was totally optional. However, they needed their cameras on to play. So, start with all cameras on.  Pick someone to be the “chooser”.  The chooser will private message you (or email you) who they pick so you can hold them accountable.  Then you call on people to ask yes or no questions, such as does this person have glasses? If the person in charge says yes then anyone without glasses turns their camera off and can still ask questions but is not to be guessed.  This keeps going until someone guesses who was chosen.  The chosen one then becomes the chooser.  It just helps them get to know each other a bit better. If your classes are mixed grade levels, this seems to be a popular question.

Scattergories: For Scattegories have everyone get a piece of paper and a pencil.  It works just like the board game – you will have a random letter (picked on the site) and then a list of questions pops up.  At the end of the allotted time we review each question and people type their answers in the chat.  The top score wins.  I send funny prizes in the mail like my school picture or funny stickers. I will say that all my categories I have gotten have been school appropriate, but I make no promises, you may want to preview before you share your screen! Here is the link I use: https://swellgarfo.com/scattergories/.

Establishing a Classroom Culture

Another question many teachers have faced this year is as follows: How do I establish a classroom culture when only half or all of my classes are at home? It has been said that the first three days of the semester are crucial for teachers to create the culture of their classrooms. Even though some or all students cannot be in person, here are some resources I have used to help students get to know one another:

  1. Vocaroo: I used this for students to record themselves saying their names.
  2. The Name Is…: Students can use this to introduce themselves. They can include their Vocaroo recording on the bottom of the slide as well. Once everyone turned this in, I compiled it into one Slideshow (you could also use PowerPoint if needed).
  3. You Are Matter: I use this in my science classes to get students to introduce themselves. I use this mainly for my reference, especially in chemistry. This could be modified to fit other disciplines if needed.
  4. Who Are You? : I use this in my biology course, mainly for me to get to know the students as many of them are coming in from middle school.
  5. How Are You a Scientist? : I use this for biology students to begin thinking about how they are scientists in everyday life, even if they may not even realize it!

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6 thoughts on “Remote/Hybrid Teaching 101

  1. Hi Abby! I first want to say that I love how well laid out your website is. Your different pages at the top are really easy to access and flow through. My favorite part was your section on creating a classroom culture. I think that all of the tools that you use to help your students accumulated to your classroom is great. I have never seen a voice recorder like the one that you use.

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  2. I really like your ideas about creating a classroom culture. This is something that I have really struggled to establish with my remote students. If we are still working with students both remotely and in-person next year, I will definitely be trying some of your suggestions.

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  3. YES! I spent a lot of my time trying to find platforms to engage my little first graders in a fun and interactive way. I experienced many of the difficulties you described – turning off their screen, leaving their screen, muting themselves, etc. Many of the platforms I began using this year were introduced to me during Covid. I wish I would of known about them sooner because they bring fun and exciting learning experiences. These platforms include SeeSaw, PearDeck, Flipgrid, and Kahoot. It was these types of activities that kept students engaged and in front of their screen.

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  4. Even though I’ve worked with you now for multiple semesters and courses throughout this pandemic, I still learned of more ah-has you’ve figured out about teaching from your video. I had two thoughts:
    1) I completely agree that this is the year to reinvent. Everything is going to go wrong anyway. I can’t tell you how many years I’ve been teaching (lost count) and teaching courses 100% online even, and still things that don’t typically go wrong have been. So yes, necessity is the mother of invention, but in this case so is calamity! Love it.
    2) I want to hear the follow-up on how these strategies translate back into F2F mask-less, distance-less courses. I hear in them some gems that I think really do. When we have more time, I think we should do a podcast episode for Education Now, https://anchor.fm/educationnow together where we list through to this and pause and talk about how this translates back.

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  5. Hello Abby, I enjoyed looking through your website and particularly your epiphanies. I have been remote all year, and it has been challenging and confusing. My students are amazing, but lack of participation is real along with the issue of not requiring cameras on across the board. I say the names of my students, I have them message me privately in chat in order to feel comfortable, and I try to build relationships to keep them coming to class. We use Hapara which allows me to monitor their screens and see what is going on. This also helps me with the focus aspect. I love the epiphanies you had, and I agree that it would be a shame if things in education do not shift in the right direction after this year. The whole standardized testing situation left me feeling overwhelmed due to the constant changes already. I just think this is the perfect time to adapt and modify education as we know it.

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