Teaching in a pandemic: How to switch SLIFE to online platforms?

In anticipation of our school closing, teachers were given 24 hours notice to create WhatsApp groups and submit plans for an online platform for adult SLIFE.  My students had just learned how to use QR codes. No one has a computer or email. Together, in the classroom, we created WhatsApp groups as a problem-solving measure.Today, the district closed. Now what do I do? I have never used an online platform for teaching.




It's a good question. Our teachers are in a similar boat. The City University of New York system cancelled in-person classes for the rest of the semester. A one-week hiatus started today, followed by a transition to online classes for all campus programs. I'm sure this is going to be difficult for college students, but they at least have computers. Most of our students don't have computers. We're trying to figure out what we can do with smartphones only. I have a Whatsapp group with my class and have been able to get a little dialogue going, but it's no substitute for class.

I would be interested to hear what other programs are doing.

Hello everyone, Thanks so much for the questions, Nan and Eric. I am sure many members are in this position or soon will be. Like many teachers, I've been using WhatsApp for a long time. It's a great tool for teacher and learners to share audio, video and print resources. It's easy to create groups and/or to set up as one-on-one. WhatsApp is perfect for asynchronous sharing.

Regarding synchronous meetings, I heard that Zoom has made their premium product free due to the cronovirus. Can anyone confirm that? If members are using Zoom or anticipate using Zoom (or a similar tool), I hope you will share tips with us here.

Since these changes are happening so quickly, --literally overnight in my program! -- a clear challenge would be trying to support learners at a distance on how to sign on to and how to use any online program. 

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition and Teaching & Leanring CoPs