Over the past few weeks, I have seen the best of the LINCS Community of Practice (CoP) as people across the country have come together to offer ideas, encouragement, and advice to one another.
One Sentence Solutions
Before coming on as moderator, I was a lurker on LINCS boards who very seldom make any comments. I want to encourage you to move beyond being a lurker during these turbulent times and post your thoughts. Let's do this: please post one sentence about what you/your program are/is doing to serve your students during the COVID crisis. We all have time to write just one sentence. The CoP looks forward to hearing your thoughts!
A dizzying number of online teaching resources have been posted over the past few weeks. If I could point to one of the most helpful, it would have to be Dr. David Rosen's Resources for Transitioning to Online Learning where he has posted 14 pages of resources adult educators have shared on the LINCS discussion board over the past few weeks.
On the Integrating Technology CoP, Nan Frydland shared these thoughts:
"Two weeks ago I began a journey teaching ESL online to two groups of adult learners when our school district closed its doors in response to the outbreak of COVID19 in the United States. Today, I participated in a webinar in which I described my experience using WhatsApp as an online teaching platform for adult learners without resources beyond a smartphone. Adult learners are hardwired to solve real life problems in real time and that's what my classes and I did. I did this without much outside help. David Rosen reposted my pleas, Glenda Rose urged me on, but mostly, I stayed up nights summoning all the education and experience I've accumulated to come up with a pretty basic solution to meeting the needs of my students."
In several professional development workshops I have done over the past few years, I have led a group discussion on the topic: 'Is it OK to put our comfort zone as teachers over the needs of our students?' As you can imagine, none of the educators in the room felt it was right to do that. However, when we began discussing serving students through technology, excuses came out of the woodwork as to why this could not be done. It seemed obvious that these educators were putting their own comfort zones with using technology over the needs of their learners.
Nan, I applaud your willingness to step out, make mistakes, and embrace technological solutions to serving students during the COVID crisis. You are serving as an inspiration to us all!
Thanks in advance for your one sentence solutions!
I am using WhatsApp for low-literacy adult learners to engage in video-based live classes 12 hours a week!
Our tutors have really stepped up to learn to use Zoom for one-on-one tutoring and conversation groups.
The break out rooms in Zoom are working well for students to complete tasks together.
TCALL (Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy & Learning @ Texas A&M) has developed a COVID19 webpage in collaboration with our State Office and provided a number of webinars to teachers and staff during the past two weeks on how to use Zoom and Webex, along with webinars on engaging tools to use in those virtual classrooms and a "HelpDesk" of volunteers ready to help the new DL teacher. http://tcall.tamu.edu
Thanks so much Debra, especially for including the link!
My program has emphasized making connections with students in multiple ways, not just one - so we are making phone calls, sending material by mail, using Remind.com, and holding Zoom classes.
I am using Zoom for live ESL class meetings and also for recording myself alone and posting a video to our department youtube channel.
Thanks so much for stepping out and making your first post here Jennifer!