Effective distance learning begins with structured activities to keep students focused on their learning goals and performance objectives.
With COVID-19 (Coronavirus) causing school closures and affecting millions of students worldwide, schools are creating distance learning plans to ensure that teaching and learning continues beyond the walls of the traditional classroom.
Teachers from all content areas are looking for ways to engage students in meaningful distance learning that meets all the requirements of a standard lesson. Let’s explore three structured activity formats to help you get started with effective distance learning using Edmodo. Please keep in mind that these activities can be modified and extended to fit the needs and ages of your students as well as your content area.
Choosing Your Activity: First Steps
Begin by identifying the learning goals and performance objectives based on your state standards, pacing guide, or your district’s scope and sequence. Choose from these three activities, based on which ones you believe best align with your standards: Digital Scavenger Hunt, Digital Resource Comparison, and Digital Presentation Piece.
Digital Scavenger Hunt
Students follow clues and search for digital information leading to a final document or product. When creating the guide for this activity, you decide which websites, videos, ebooks, or documents you want your students to explore. The goal is not for them to read everything, but to “skim and scan” digital resources for the information needed to complete the task. The guide you create is the map that keeps your students on task and focused on the learning goals. The completed Digital Scavenger Hunt is the final product used for evaluation.
Use the learning objectives and performance goals for the unit of study to begin creating the Digital Scavenger Hunt. Each objective should align with a piece of your hunt. Create questions based on information you find on educational websites, digital textbooks, ebooks, or video platforms. Giving students specific links for their hunt will provide guidance and structure as they learn how to scan resources for the information they need to complete the Digital Scavenger Hunt.
Share a Digital Scavenger Hunt with your students:
- Option 1: Write the directions to the Digital Scavenger Hunt in a Post in your Edmodo Class and attach the document from your computer, Library, OneDrive, or Google Drive.
- Option 2: Create an Assignment, adding the instructions, attaching the Digital Scavenger Hunt document, and choosing the due date, classes, etc.
Digital Resource Comparison
Students use a graphic organizer to compare three different resources, such as a website, ebook, digital textbook, or YouTube video on the same topic. Students will complete a graphic organizer, outlining their findings.
The product is the completed graphic organizer. An extended learning opportunity would be for students to use the information gathered to write an essay, opinion piece, or other type of nonfiction writing.
Create a graphic organizer with the following information:
- Column 1: Format (video, website, ebook, textbook, etc.)
- Column 2: Audience (children, adults, students, etc.)
- Column 3: Key Knowledge Points (based on the learning goals)
- (Add any other column to meet your content-specific needs)
Create a content-specific list of topics. Students will choose one topic to compare how different digital resources present information.
Create a list of digital resources from which students will choose three to compare (video, website, ebook, textbook, etc.). Link resources to the document for easy access.
Share the Digital Resource Comparison Graphic Organizer with your students:
- Option 1: Write the directions in a Post, including the list of topics and resources with embedded links and attach the Digital Resource Comparison Graphic Organizer for students to download and complete.
- Option 2: Create an Assignment, adding the instructions, list of topics and resources with embedded links, and attaching the Digital Resource Comparison document, and choosing the due date, classes, etc.
Digital Presentation Piece
Students choose from a list of content-specific topics (designed by you) and create a presentation of their findings using PowerPoint, video, or other digital creation.
- Create a list of digital resources and topics, from which students will choose for their presentation.
- Create a rubric for you as the evaluator and to share with students for project guidelines. Basic rubrics can include: Organization, Content Information, Graphics, Background, Spelling/Grammar, etc.
Share the Digital Presentation Piece with your students:
- Option 1: Write the instructions to the Digital Presentation Piece in a Post, including a list of digital resources and topics from which students will choose. Attach the rubric for the presentation.
- Option 2: Create an Assignment, including a list of digital resources and topics from which students will choose. Attach the rubric for the presentation. Add a due date and assign to a Class.
- Option 3: Students share their final presentation with the class by posting on the Class stream. Please moderate these posts for safety and appropriate participation.
We hope these activities can give you some ideas for keeping the learning going with Edmodo! Check out this short guide to learn more about setting up your classes for distance learning on Edmodo. You can also find and share strategies with other teachers on Edmodo by using the hashtags #bettertogether #coronasafety.