Preparing for distance learning 16th March 2020

As schools try and get prepared for their possible closure because of Covid-19, here are some useful resources that we have come across that might help and save some time.

Safeguarding: Our colleagues at SWGfL have complied an excellent safeguarding guide for remote teaching. It can be found here

Continuing learning, technical options: The Independent Schools Council Digital Strategy group has put together some useful pieces on options on technologies and pedagogy. They can be found here

Extended learning: Open Learn, the OU’s free learning portal has thousands of learning opportunities for anyone over the age of 13.

Understanding the technology: Most schools will have access to Microsoft Office 365 or Google for Education accounts. Both companies have extended their features to support schools during this time to help make distance learning easier for all. Both are free so it is worth spending some time understanding the features and how best to use them for age group and skill level of staff.

Spongy Elephant has developed some simple online training packages to help guide users through some of the features and they are currently free to access (you have to set up an account)

Google have their Teacher Centre which provides videos and guides and here is Microsoft’s versionĀ  Of course you can also keep up to date via their social media channels.

Advice to parents: Noone quite knows what it will be like if we have to isolate for long periods but this BBC article sets out some ideas from home schooling experts on how best to approach this.

Advice for teachers and adults: Adults, as well as children need routine and structure in their lives. It will be important to split the day between work time, fun time, exercise and sleep. Distinguish the week from the weekend and make sure to schedule in calls or videoconferencing with work colleagues and family to keep some form of social contact outside your immediate home environment.