What do teachers need to consider around remote learning?

2020-03-24

In the wake of school closures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, many teachers may turn to remote learning as a means of educating their pupils.


While such methods will allow teachers to set homework, host online lessons or deliver video conferencing, a degree of safeguarding is still needed to keep pupils safe online.


Education charity SWGfL, which focuses on keeping young people safe when they’re online, has provided guidance around remote learning which teachers may want to think about.


The key considerations

The charity’s guidance focuses on three main areas that can influence the ability to teach remotely, as detailed below:

  • Organisation – how will remote learning be delivered and managed?
  • Participation – how will children interact with the services?
  • Technology – does the school have the technology to deliver remote learning?


Organisation

A major consideration for any teacher around remote learning is whether the school has a policy in place that relates to online teaching, as it would need to be adhered to.


This may include aspects such as safeguarding and standards, while staff will also need secure access to the school systems when working from home.


Teachers may also want to consider providing guidance for pupils around where best to log in and access the systems so that they are comfortable and away from any distractions.


Participation

Teachers should consider how lessons and other content will be delivered to ensure maximum engagement and to make the best use of time.


For instance, setting tasks for pupils to complete with a set delivery time may be easier to manage than timetabling a range of lessons online.


A teacher will also want to think about supervision, whether it is necessary throughout, and how they will ensure participation among pupils.


Other considerations should be around the amount of time that pupils are given for tasks, as the time allowed should give enough time for less able pupils, but not too much time that more able can be complacent.


The guidance also questions how a teacher can effectively maintain communication with parents when delivering remote teaching, and whether it is possible to get parents involved.


Technology

To deliver remote teaching, staff and pupils require access to the right technology, as well as a good internet connection – if this is not available, teachers will also want to consider alternatives.


Another consideration revolves around technical issues and the sorts of support that will be available for pupils that have difficulties accessing any online content.


Teachers will also want to think about the specific tools they plan to use and whether they are suitable for the activities they have planned.


Finally, it’s important to contemplate whether any technology services will have specific service terms and privacy statements, as this could influence whether they can be used or not.


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