As a graduate student a decade ago, I completed a yearlong project on the impacts of the digital divide in schools. Back then, I was struck by the complexities and nuances of the problem, realizing quickly that the divide wasn’t only about connecting to the internet—as it had been when the term was coined in the mid-1990s—but also about how it’s accessed and used.
With remote learning at the top of educators’ minds during the Covid-19 pandemic, the topic of digital equity is centre stage again, and I’m sad to see that not enough has changed in 10 years. According to a recent report from Common Sense Media, nearly 12 million students don’t have the technology they need to learn from home during the current crisis, and in some states, like Oklahoma and Mississippi, more than a third of students have no access to the internet at all.
Incorporating the coronavirus crisis in course content can leverage students’ curiosity while showing them the real-world applicability of what they’re learning.
Educators frequently hear from their students, “How am I going to use this stuff in the real world?” Now is the perfect time to answer that question. The coronavirus pandemic presents a unique opportunity for educators looking to underscore the relevancy of their subject matter.
Your emotional state influences how well students learn. Here are tips to incorporate a restorative approach to your online teaching.
Given the amount of time we’re spending teaching online—and thinking about the upcoming school year—any small steps we can take to make our virtual classrooms more relational, engaging, and supportive are important. While teachers and students benefit from restorative practices as an alternative to exclusionary discipline practices, they thrive when restorative principles are applied holistically to everything we do in schools—from how we deliver our lessons to the everyday connections we make with our students. In fact, lasting whole-school change requires that we shift from doing restorative to actually being restorative. But what does this look like and sound like in an online class?
Tapping into elements of Universal Design for Learning may help teachers create fairer and more reliable tests.
Teachers should always strive for clarity in formulating assessments. One way to achieve that is through the use of elements of Universal Design for Learning. By ensuring that assessment items are clear and concise, educators will be able to accurately measure intended objectives and performance while lessening the cognitive load for students. By following the elements of the universal design listed here, teachers can create more reliable, valid, and fair assessments.
Universally designed assessments are grounded on the principle that every student should be included in the target population to be tested. Placing students’ needs and perspectives at the centre of decision making in test development helps create accessible tests that eliminate cognitive, sensory, emotional, and physical barriers.
Literary theory can be a tough topic for high school students—a simple story may be just the scaffold they need to start figuring it out.
I’ve always struggled with how to teach my seniors about literary analysis. Many of them find it boring or don’t see how they can use it in their lives. After two years of trying to justify our study of literary theory to my students, I reevaluated how—and why—I was teaching it in the first place.
I started with the literature I had been making my students read during our literary analysis unit. I often assigned “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, a story with a lot of symbolism and depth, or “The Oval Portrait” by Edgar Allan Poe.