Recently the Vartek Integration Team, or iTeam for short, collaborated to discuss thinking outside the box in remote learning. In addition to the challenges of technology and access to WiFi and devices, the need for at-home supplies proved a bit difficult for some regions of learners. Inspired by a Washington Post article, where authors Hanna Natanson, Perry Stein, and Donna St. George shared an inspiring collection from creative teachers; the Vartek iTeam created a list of simple ideas that can easily be implemented in any distance learning environment.

  1. Brandelyn House, Classroom Technology Coach, shared the idea of “Go Bags.” A “Go Bag” contains a plethora of tangible tools like math manipulatives, shapes, etc. provided to preschoolers. While remote learning students are immersed in technology, it is still important for young students to work with physical objects to round their learning experiences. The materials in this bag are shared and returned to school, then replaced with the next set of tools for learning. The district is researching a way to implement Go Bags with students in K-12 as well. 
  2. Angel DeGrasse, Classroom Technology Coach, and long-time educator, expanded on the use of at-home ideas for use in the classroom. In math and science students learn of measurement and sorting into categories. While all students might not have access to several types of coins or a large variety of fruits and vegetables, we all have laundry! Students are able to graph a closet, sort and count the pieces of laundry, and like the Washington Post article suggests, manipulate the shape of the laundry to practice letter skills.
  3. Can’t leave the building but want to “get out of the classroom”? We Are Teachers has a fantastic list of resources in their 25+ Amazing Virtual Field Trips article. The American Alliance of Museums also provides educators with access to free virtual explorations and tours.
  4. Music enthusiast, Joey Legg, is a Classroom Technology Coach who recommends virtual concerts, recitals, plays, and talent shows to keep students engaged in remote learning. Simple video editing and live streaming options (like YouTube) are simple to use and work well with other education technology tools like Google Classroom.

This is just a scratch on the surface exposing the amazing ways educators are thinking outside the box in the time of remote instruction. Try one of our ideas or share one of your own! We would love to hear from you on what’s working for your remote educators.