E-Learning in a Time of Covid
Transitioning to an online model is technically not hard, but emotionally it is exhausting. The kids, all ages, are just checked out. There is so much going on in their worlds that trying to completely learn a whole new way of learning is just too much, and I get it.
It seemed logical to me to try and keep the online learning easy for students to navigate.
I tried so many different ways to reach the kids. From online Zoom classes to small activities and lessons in our LMS, to trying to get a simple emoji response check-in through Remind. At first, there was a pretty decent turnout, but as the weeks have inched by, there have been many days when I am the only one on the Zoom meeting.
It has just been really tough, and I worry about my students every day.
Although it has been challenging, there have been some silver linings. Some of my students have created some great work and shared it with me.
Every day in my regular class, students write in their journal for the first ten minutes. They can write about anything, say anything, as long as they are telling a story. To try and give them some normalcy in terms of classwork, I had them create digital journals similar to the journals used in class. Instead of using a composition notebook, I told them to create a digital journal using Google slides or Keynote to document what it was like to live through a pandemic.
To give student choice, I also presented them with 15 Creativity Challenges that were created by Don Henderson at Apple. I recreated them on colored backgrounds and presented them to the students. They were given the opportunity to choose any of the challenges, or all of the challenges, and the assignment was to draw, take a photograph, write a story, animate something, make a song, or use any other form of creativity they could think of to complete the challenge. They could then add challenges to their digital journal.
Examples of student challenges
My students created animations in apps, took photographs, created digital artwork, and wrote entries in their digital journals. Here are some of the responses I received.
This is what students have created on Chromebooks, phones, and a couple of tablets. These examples show what the kids are doing without having access to equipment. They are just using whatever they have. I miss my creative little monsters so much and I can't wait to be back with them. This pandemic has really elevated my need to implement my Viking Visual Go innovation plan so that students can create more while away from school.
Next year, I look forward to incorporating more of the Everyone Can Create activities I learned this year into my curriculum to help students develop stronger creative skills.