Virtual School Meanderings

5 Minutes On K-12 Online Learning With…

On Sunday, 22 March I sat down in front of my computer and reflected on some of the media interviews I had done over the past week related to the K-12 education system and the COVID-19 pandemic, and how so many systems were transitioning to a model of remote teaching or teaching at a distance.  As I reflected upon the week that was, I thought that my colleagues in the field of K-12 distance, online, and blended learning and I could potentially offer a great deal of advice to folks that were new to using online tools, content, and pedagogy..  It was at that point that I reached out to a number of my academic counterparts and practitioner friends to record a new series – which I entitled “5 Minutes On K-12 Online Learning With…”  I posted the introduction to the series the following day (i.e., Monday, 23 March).

Over the course of the next two weeks I posted daily conversations with nine individuals where I asked them the following questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. There are teachers all around the world who now finding themselves having to use online tools and curriculum for the first time. Do you have any advice for them?
  3. We also have parents whose children are learning at home for the first time. Do you have any guidance for them on how to support their child’s learning?

Following this initial release, I’m wasn’t sure I’d have the volume to keep posting them each week day. But I promised to try to follow at least a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule moving forward, maybe more frequently. In the end I was able to post each weekday, minus the one day that I spent making my mind up on whether I would continue the feature past the original two weeks.

Fast forward six weeks and 27 guests later… Most teachers and parents have had four to eight weeks (some even more) of experience with remote teaching. So I decided it was time to transition this feature.  Looking to the future, there are two things that school leaders need to be deal with.  The first is how to finish the current school year and what impact that may have on how they open the coming school year.  The second is what they do to ensure that when the system has to shut down again due to local flare ups or a second wave, the transition from the “new normal” of classroom learning back to remote learning again is done in a more seamless way.  So I’ve reached out to academic counterparts and practitioner friends again – some repeat customers and some that you haven’t heard from yet – to continue the “5 Minutes On K-12 Online Learning With…” series.

The specific questions that I asked during this second series were:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What advice would you give to school leaders in terms of accommodating the disruption that has happened during the 2019-20 school year with respect to finishing up this school year and/or beginning the next school year?
  3. What advice would you give to school leaders on how to prepare for the likely scenario of a local flare up or second wave shutting down their system again at some point during the 2020-21 school year?

Below are the links to the episodes from both series…

Original Focus – Teachers and Parents Shifted Focus – School Leaders


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