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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Teaching for Home Learning: Primary Science. Join the course to learn more.
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Online spaces for remote learning

Your school will likely already have in place an online learning platform. This may be a platform such as Google Classroom, Seesaw or Tapestry that is used as a secure space to communicate and share resources. These platforms will typically have ways to:

  • Communicate directly with pupils and/or parents.
  • Structure learning activities, for example grouping tasks and resources together.
  • Allow pupils (or parents) to share learning outputs back to you as the teacher.

If you are piecing together an online space for the first time within these platforms, then start with a clear ‘landing page’ for your class, which then sign-posts to learning activities.

Having a consistent approach to the way the platform is used can help both parents and pupils find information and instructions for learning activities, for example try to use consistent layouts and phrases to describe parts of your online space. Avoid putting too much information on the main page, as it needs to be clear what the focus of attention should be (and this may change over time as activities are completed), such as only showing the most immediate tasks.

In the next two steps we look at approaches with freely available online tools. The key is to decide what you want to do first, then choose the most appropriate tool.

However, you will need to abide by your school’s policies for use of online tools. This may mean your school platform or app is the only online tool you can use. If you have multiple platforms available, it’s best to stick to one, to avoid pupils and parents having to navigate two separate spaces.

A useful comparison between Seesaw and Google Classroom may help show how different tools and platforms have different strengths: Seesaw vs. Google Classroom: What’s the Best Management App for Your Classroom?

Explore

Thinking about how a sequence of learning activities would need to be put together, and the model for writing instructions from last week, explore how your current online learning platform will be able to support this.

Consider from the pupil or parent perspective how easy it would be to follow a series of learning activities and find the instructions.

Would you need to write a short ‘how to’ guide with the steps required to access learning materials, for example if it was not obvious from opening the app or logging into the platform?

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This article is from the free online course:

Teaching for Home Learning: Primary Science

National STEM Learning Centre