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Distance Learning Collection

The Just ASK Team has written new articles and updated some older ones as 2.0 versions to support our many colleagues who are tasked  during the 2020-2021 school year with creating positive and productive learning experiences from a distance and/or in hybrid environments that are ever evolving. We will continue to add to this collection and hope that you find it useful in your challenging work. Please feel free to share with colleagues near and far, and do be sure to check back often to access newly posted articles.

Distance Learning Collection
Table of Contents

Ten Tips for Enhancing Distance Learning (Paula Rutherford)
Lessons We’ve Learned (Marcia Baldanza)
Parents as Partners 2.0 (Bruce Oliver)
Maximizing Distance Learning (Marcia Baldanza)
The Writer’s Notebook – A High Leverage Practice for Uncertain Times (Heather Clayton)
Messages from the Children (Bruce Oliver)
Empathy in the Time of Coronavirus (Marcia Baldanza)
Tips for Promoting Student Engagement During Online Sessions
(Heather Clayton)
What Do We Do Now?  (The Just ASK Team)
Tips for Recording and Using Instructional Videos (Heather Clayton)
Stop… in the Name of Learning 2.0 – 18 Practices to Rethink
(Bruce Oliver)
Tools for Leading High Functioning Teams (Marcia Baldanza)
Mentoring From Near and Afar (Paula Rutherford) 

To access an article, click on the title.


In the News


Research-Based Distance Learning Principles

In this month’s Mentoring Memo Paula writes, “we hope that you are successfully coping with 2020’s  ever-changing teaching, learning, and leading landscape and maintaining some semblance of work-life balance. Based on what we hear and read, it appears that more and more educators are finding themselves not only continuing distance learning but adding face-to-face instruction to their already full platters.  While the workload is astonishing, one important point in our favor is that “good teaching is good teaching no matter the format.” My belief in that statement causes me to continuously be on the lookout for research and practitioner’s testimonials about their own successful endeavors in support  of students, colleagues, and parents that I can share with others. That is why I was so pleased to come across a document presented on one of my favorite sites, the California Department of Education at www.cde.ca.gov. I summarize six key points of their report on research-based distance learning and add my own commentary in this month’s Mentoring Memo.” Don’t miss the memo which includes the October Mentoring Calendar and a video clip with words of wisdom for new teachers.

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Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

In this issue Bruce writes, “As I begin my seventeenth year of writing Just for the ASKing!  I have been looking back on what I have written over the years. There certainly is a great deal of information, resources, suggestions, insights, and stories. I am proud of my work and hope that my thoughts have helped educators establish and maintain the best learning environments for our young people. One thing I’ve learned  over the years is that consistent reminders of the best practices in education have a great likelihood of leading to progressive change. My focus in this issue, therefore, is on revisiting instructional ideas, practices, beliefs, and research that could have a huge positive impact on teaching and learning. I include in this issue over a dozen long-recommended changes for your consideration.” Read the latest issue

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Ten Tips for Promoting Student Engagement
During Online Sessions

Heather writes, “When designing synchronous learning sessions, plan on using that time for the construction of meaning. Avoid lecturing about information that can be obtained during asynchronous learning, and save precious online sessions as a time for students to engage in discussion and interact with you and each other. Make them a time when students apply their learning and gain clarity.” No matter which online platform you are using for synchronous learning (ie. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet), you can use the transferable strategies she discusses in this issue to bolster student engagement. Read this issue now!

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Accelerate Rather Than Remediate
in Virtual, Hybrid, and In-Person Settings

The October 26th issue is now available. Marcia writes, “Education Week reported recently that 75% of districts are virtual or part virtual. Emma Dean of McKinsey & Company in Covid-19 and Dtudent Learning in the United States: The Impact Could Last a Lifetime” reports stark and unequal impacts predicting that a January 2021 mass re-opening of in-person school would mean 10.3 months of lost learning for Black students, 12.4 months lost for economically disadvantaged students, and an average of 6.8 months lost for all students. I doubt that we’re going to experience anything close to a mass re-opening in January 2021 and instead think we might be in a cycle of remote, hybrid, in-person throughout the 2020-2021 school year. The long-term academic impact of COVID-19 is expected to last 3-5 years post pandemic. Support now for our students is critical. We can and must stem the losses now and accelerate quickly. The contents of this EmpowerED 3.2.1 are a synthesis of current research, a Learning Sciences International webinar titled Achievement Gaps and the Lost COVID-19 Generation, and my own and other practitioners’ experiences.” Read on.

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