Distance learning is creating new unprecedented challenges for teachers. Each class environment, and student, presents a unique situation. Virtual classes often have up to 35 students joining remotely, and teachers are working exceptionally hard to bring all these diverse situations into a coherent and functioning online classroom.
Almost all school districts rely on technology to help teachers with the daunting task of providing grade-level instruction and the intervention to students who need it, all while interfacing through Zoom or other online platforms. Some students have the technological aptitude, necessary equipment, and required online access to receive virtual instruction; however, many students do not. And while some parents can help their children log on, stay online, and master the complexities of moving across their school’s various software applications, many cannot assist due to lack of availability, technological expertise, or limitations of their home’s equipment.
A tweet that recently went viral stated:
“Please be nice to your teachers. My dad is 53 years old and not a whiz with technology. He’s called me EVERY day, attempting to practice because he’s so nervous and wants what’s best for his students. Please be patient with them. They’re trying.”
Virtual learning environments present problems for even the most technologically savvy students and teachers, especially for primary grades. While many students have mastered the ability to log on and participate in digital classrooms, it is often a stretch to expect younger students to keep that connection, maintain contact with their teacher, and then toggle to some other software to complete an assignment.
Standards Plus, a nonprofit group of educators, has what schools need to help alleviate distance learning challenges so teachers can effectively teach, and students can successfully learn. Its evidence-based program has demonstrated that a hybrid application of traditional paper and pencil materials, in conjunction with technological solutions, solves many distance learning issues. Standards Plus lessons teach Math and Language Arts concepts in lesson sets comprised of four instructional modules and a formative assessment per topic. These hands-on lesson sets are delivered through live instruction and address all essential standards for a given grade level.
Standards Plus materials are available in digital and print formats and are effectively used in all educational models: traditional, hybrid, and virtual. Virtual learning students benefit the most when they receive the printed materials to use at their homes. Students can see and hear their teachers teach while following the lesson’s printed copies to minimize toggling and lost connection. Most importantly, this allows students to listen, watch, and follow their teachers’ direct instruction of the most critical grade-level standards.
Schools should take action now to give students time to master all grade-level standards during this school year. Recovered Lost Learning Grants are available to schools to help cover the cost of Standards Plus materials. Click here to learn more.