Online Learning: With vs. Without a Teacher

Hello everyone!  Thank you for popping in for this week's blog challenge topic.  Today I'm linking with Hot Lunch Tray!

This post is week 7 of 8 in the #8WeekBlog Challenge for educators.

Here is this week's prompt:

Describe your mix of synchronous (online in real time with a teacher) and asynchronous (online done independently by student)  learning activities from last spring/will provide this fall?

Synchronous (online with teacher) Learning Activities

When my students and I were online together last spring, we spent most of our time connecting by sharing.  Students were much more interested in visiting vs. actually learning while online with the class.  At first, the emphasis was on "making connections."  Eventually, learning standards were added to the mix, and teaching online became necessary.  To accomplish teaching, I used these strategies:

*Share a slideshow to preview/introduce/review material. 

For example, I taught fractions on a number line.  I would share my screen during our meeting time and talk about the concept.  I would review what was on the slides.  In addition, I made a video for the kids to watch later when they would be doing the activity on their own.

I felt that repetition and review were extremely important ~ especially when teaching a topic that we had not covered in class.

Here is another example for comparative adjectives.  I always spent time reviewing that day's slides with the goal of helping the kids understand the concepts so that they could complete the activities independently.

Here is the Drag and Drop independent activity:

Bottom Line:  I will definitely continue to create slide decks that are colorful and easy to understand.  During meeting time, I will preview and review the information as well as answer student questions.  One improvement I definitely want to make is meeting regularly with small groups of students.  I only met with the whole class except during my office hour.  I really missed getting to interact with the students as a way to assess understanding and make connections.

Asynchronous Learning (Done by Student Independently)

My Google Classroom assignments were always scheduled to be posted at 8:00 a.m.  When they were not there due to some sort of technical difficulty, several students would sent me messages asking where their work was.  I kept the assignments consistent every day:

I enjoyed creating these slide decks for the students.  It was a tremendous amount of work to create the work in digital form, but once I had my system, it came together.  During our Morning Meeting, I always reviewed the work for the day ~ especially something new like the Declaration of Independence.

Right now I am taking a class from Salem State.  I am learning and practicing Flipgrid (free) and Nearpod (free and paid versions available).  I'm really enjoying both of these "new to me" programs.  Nearpod has an add-on in Google classroom and has added lots of new templates (which I loved in Pear Deck). 

I am going to improve distance learning by adding more videos that the kids can watch.  I think it is so important to hear and see new learning concepts.  What online platforms do you prefer?  I would love to hear about them!

Thank you for visiting the blog today!  Happy August!


  1. Susan, thank you for sharing your newsy post about remote learning experiences and what you look forward to. There are so many things we are learning these days, aren't there? I am off now to check out the Nearpod add-on, which is something I just learned about from your post. Thanks!

    1. I am liking the add-on! Also, I like templates! Nearpod seems like a great interactive option!

  2. Hi Susan! I love the way you set up your Google Classroom assignments. I will be doing it that way this year. Right now, the plan is to all go back to the classroom. We are providing online learning as an option. However, so far we've been given no details about how those at-home students will be supported. (That is in the planning stages still.) If we go to full distance learning, I will be doing pretty much the same thing you are. Last year, I enjoyed using EPIC for small reading groups. I'd meet with a group and present my screen (EPIC book). I got that idea from my colleague. I copied her, because she's so smart. Thank you for sharing! Your drag and drop page inspired me, and now I'm in the mood to make stuff!
    Laughter and Consistency


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