Virtual Toolkit

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Making the Transition Online?

Our era of technology has afforded us great flexibility of how we can effectively deliver content. Online learning has opened education’s doors to many who would have struggled with access. COVID-19 has caused an unexpected rapid transition to online content delivery for many. Thankfully, there are already many great resources on how to effectively teach online. We’re sharing some of our favorite resources.

Online Collaboration Platforms

Zoom

This is a popular video conferencing service. Your organization may offer a license for this service. If it does not, the free version allows for up to 45 minute meetings for up to 100 participants.

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CEC/eLuma Webinar on Teaching Special Education Online

This collaborative webinar co-hosted by CEC and ELuma online therapy gives useful tips for K12 educators (would also be applicable for higher-ed) for transitioning to online teaching. One section shows how teachers can differentiate instruction based on student access to technology.

View Webinar Replay, Slide Deck, and Supplemental Resources

Google Hangouts

You can collaborate via video, phone, or instant message, and share desktops. Google Hangouts is free to use with a Google account. You can host up to 25 video participants on a free account.

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Your IT Department

Don’t forget to check with your organizational IT department. They likely have procedures in place for online meeting along with the appropriate license.

Online Meeting Engagement

Successful online engagement

Successful online engagement requires strategy. Planning for an online meeting is more than planning an agenda and adding a video feed. This guide will use Zoom as the primary platform for virtual meeting, but other platforms will likely have similar functionality.

Have Norms.

Example Norms could be:

  • Turn on your camera
  • Broadcast from a quiet place
  • Do not multi-task
  • Mute yourself when you’re not speaking to avoid background noise

Online Meeting Planning > Agenda Planning

You must think strategically about how you will create opportunities for engagement spread throughout instructional time. Once you lose participants’ focus, it is hard to bring it back. Some suggestions for planning your online meeting:

  • Have planned breaks if the class is long. People will be less apt to multi-task if they know they are heading towards a break.
  • Use Check-In/Check Out Questions. Some people choose to make questions related to the course (eg “Use one word to describe how you’re feeling about this meeting”) while some people opt for completely random questions (“what is the best Thanksgiving side dish”).
  • Use your online platform’s engagement tools. You can create polls, have people annotate, and use the chat pod.
  • Zoom has the ability to track whether or not participants are engaged. It measures this as a percent of screen sharing time the app is the primary window. You could assign students an online engagement score. You can also see who is engaged at any given time by clicking on the ‘participant’ panel and seeing who has an inactive icon next to their picture.

Use Strategies that Match with the Size of the Group

  • If you have a large group, use breakouts liberally. You can set randomized breakouts and have students in breakouts in less than 10 seconds. Choose groups that are between 2-3 max. Larger groups dilute the necessity for individual participation. If you use breakouts, follow effective transition practices such as being explicit about how long groups will run and what you expect to be discussed/accomplished in the breakout.
  • If you have a share-out time after breakouts, make sure to be explicit on how long each group will have to present their share-out, that you expect them to choose someone to share-out, and any other expectations you might have.

Use Strategies that Promote Camera Usage

Active audio and video involvement is the most important thing you need for quality online engagement.

  • Show of hands: Ask a question that has a 1-4 likert range and ask people to hold their hand up to the camera to answer the question.
  • Thumbs Up/Thumbs down: Ask a yes or no question or check for understanding by asking for a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on the camera.

Free Online Courses/Modules for Teacher Candidates

CEEDAR Course Enhancement Modules

These modules can be used in whole or in part to supplement teacher preparation or professional development coursework.

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NCII Course Content

This page from the National Center on Intensive Intervention contains guidance and content for faculty for online materials on intensive intervention.

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IRIS Center Modules

IRIS, as always, has a variety of fantastic resources for teacher candidates. There are modules and resources in dozens of areas.

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Meadows Center RTI Institute Modules and Resources

This page has myriad resources and self-paced modules on Response to Intervention (RTI.) The Meadows Center also has a variety of other projects available.

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National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention

There are six courses on intensive intervention including classroom management, literacy, assessment, and others.

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The Friday Institute at NC State

The NC State College of Education has open MOOC courses for free through their Professional Learning and Collaboration Environment.

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Other Great Resources

Zoom Toolkit on remote work.

This is a fantastic collection of resources that Zoom has created and curated. It has best practices, video tutorials and articles for remote work, hosting remote events, and others.

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TechforLearners.org

As part of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s COVID-19 technology initiative, American technology companies were called on to make online learning resources more accessible for teachers, parents, and students as more Americans are encouraged to stay home amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The technology industry rose to the occasion and created this resource.

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University of Kentucky College of Education Plans for Alternate Methods for Teacher Education Students

Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, Professor & Associate Dean at the University of Kentucky College of Education, developed this transition plan for their faculty. It would be a valuable decision-making framework for other colleges moving online.

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Free CEC Membership

Free Basic Membership to CEC until March 31

CEC is opening its doors to the special education community in need of resources. Nonmembers of CEC can receive a free basic membership from now through May 31 by using the promotional code “CECED60.” This will give you access to all of CEC’s journal articles, member discounts on events, and access to CEC’s online membership community where you can ask questions and receive support from special educators, administrators and support personnel.

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Have any other great resources?

If you have a resource you’re using, share it with us and we’ll post it here.

OSEP LogoThis website was produced under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Award No. H325A120003. David Guardino serves as the project officer. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or polices of the U.S. Department of Education. No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service, or enterprise mentioned in this website is intended or should be inferred.