Tips for Selecting Online Learning Resource

Curated by: Erin Scholes and Todd Bloch
Please check with your district’s policy and tech director before using any online learning resources!

Do:

  • Keep it simple! Think: how are your students going to react to an overwhelming number of resources or to jumping around from one online tool to the next?
  • Start with what you and your students already know and what works well within your school’s Learning Management System (LMS). Run your class in a way that they will recognize.
    • Consider: surveying your students to see what they want and are comfortable with on a regularly basis and adjust based on their feedback.
  • Consider the following factors when selecting online resources: 1) ease of access and navigation, 2) alignment with content standards, 3) presentation quality, understandability, 4) diversity of offerings, 5) what feedback you can get from the resource (tracking student work, ability to give feedback and accolades).
    • Consider: selecting resources you’d still use if you were in the classroom.
  • Start gradually. Consider having your students complete simple tasks at first, such as signing up for a particular platform or resource.
  • Remember that students still need that personal connection with you. Continue to check-in with them. Check out AMLE’s remote advisory activities for ideas.
    • Consider: remember to coordinator with your teaching team. If you’re all reaching out to students at the same date/time it may be overwhelming for students and their families. Remember, you don’t know what’s happening at home and other stressors that the family may be experiencing as a result of COVID-19.
  • Think about equity among your students. Different students may have different access to the internet, devices, and adult learning support.
    • Consider: surveying families to proactively identify students that may fall through the cracks.
    • Consider: getting creative to reach students with limited access. Ex: Download materials and videos to a flash drive; Use a service that allows you to anonymize your phone number if a student can only be reached by phone (Remind: School Communication app, as an example).
  • Teach in groups of manageable size.
    • Consider: For large classes use breakout features of online meeting platforms (like Zoom and Google Classroom) or do repeated sessions for smaller groups throughout the day. Use online platform controls like hand raising features.

Don’t:

  • Overdo it. Select 3-5 resources as a good starting place.
  • Expect your students to learn at the same pace as in the classroom, or at the same pace as each other.
  • Forget to make it fun and keep your school culture alive!
    • Consider: encouraging students to interact with your school social media accounts.
  • Be afraid to set boundaries and use your best judgment.
    • Consider: Limiting one-on-one sessions with students to 10-15 minutes and on an as-needed basis and avoid responding to email questions on weekends.
  • Be afraid to reconsider what it means to “assess” student work.
    • Consider: Creative ways of allowing students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts and materials. Try connecting with them on platforms they’re already using (snapchat, tiktok)
  • Be afraid to try new things or make mistakes. We are all feeling this out together! Check out AMLE’s website for tutorials on creating and recording lessons, activities to try, and free resources.