We one week into our online learning experience at our school. We are very fortunate in that many of our colleagues in China and other countries have paved the way and shared their experiences, resources, and tools.
I really appreciate blog posts by colleagues that help us as we are beginning online learning. Carl Hooker is a great example of a colleague who has shared his own experience and has some very practical ideas. The infographic below is from his blog post on the 19 March.
Librarians can follow the same signposts. At one stage this week I was communicating with a colleague on Google Hangouts. comments on a document we were working on and email – all at once. This is not ideal. I need to gather my thoughts and decide the BEST way to communicate with my colleagues and students and then stick to it. Some situations may require a different form of communication – context and purpose are the guides here.
To support our learners online when we are spread across the entire school is a tough call to know how to do this and do it well. For this signpost, I decided I would try to prioritize so grade 11 and their Extended Essay and Research project and we had started our Battle of the Books with grades 3 and 4 so keeping BOB alive is another goal. I am thankful for eBooks and databases and at the same time I want to encourage our students to leave the screen and READ a book – or get creative (like the bookworm below showing the books they have read – for younger grades of course).
Office hours are given to grade 11 students and our library team has set meeting times weekly now. Being available is important. I am using my Google Calendar to try to organize my time and my analog journal helps me to jot notes and items to attend to that can come my way through e-mail. Being organized is vital when working from home and Zachary Dome has some good ideas to share on how to do that – including giving yourself deadlines and a schedule.
Content delivery and retrieval that can be accessed from many p[latforms is another great idea. Our school uses Google Drive and I tend to complete all my work there but then also share it on our See Saw and Managebac platforms.
Then finally the power of reflection – this blog post today is my reflection for the week. Online learning is challenging. Last week we were all at school in an environment that was energetic, noisy and full of life. This week we are at home in front of our computer screens. As a teacher-librarian, my work is all about working with students and staff and it still is – it is just VERY different at the moment. I am learning how to do this in what seems like a tsunami of tips, offers, tools, and advice that keeps appearing in my inbox and Social Media. I am a connected librarian through FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram so I am receiving a lot of information right now. I am also guilty of sending requests, information, and advice to my colleagues and students.
The phrase “Flexibility is my friend, expectations are my enemy” seems to be my mantra this week. My days have not ever gone according to my plan – but then they never did at school either. I am not good at this distance learning teacher-librarianship – yet.
Domes, Zachary. “How to organize your life: 10 habits of really organized people.” Lifehack, 5 Mar. 2020, www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/how-organize-your-life-10-habits-really-organized-people.html. Accessed 19 Mar. 2020.
Hooker, Carl. “A beginner’s toolkit for teaching remotely.” Hooked on Innovation, 19 Mar. 2020, hookedoninnovation.com/2020/03/19/a-beginners-toolkit-to-teaching-remotely/. Accessed 20 Mar. 2020.
“Information overload, why it matters and how to combat it.” Interaction Design Foundation, Jan. 2020, www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/information-overload-why-it-matters-and-how-to-combat-it. Accessed 19 Mar. 2020.
Richards, Reshan, and Stephen J. Valentine. “A letter to educators teaching online for the first time.” EdSurge, 13 Mar. 2020, www.edsurge.com/news/2020-03-13-a-letter-to-educators-teaching-online-for-the-first-time?utm_campaign=site&utm_content=share-318. Accessed 19 Mar. 2020.
Schwartz, Laura. “What teachers in China have learned in the past month.” eduTopia, 13 Mar. 2020, www.edutopia.org/article/what-teachers-china-have-learned-past-month?fbclid=IwAR0X4149YybElkTU-jtANDR2rMaOMFIbzef1YfxE-hyqvuUbOWmDXuLuSFE. Accessed 19 Mar. 2020.