As schools prepare to welcome students back to school this fall and to provide equitable, high quality education, they are facing complex choices and managing significant transitions in how classes will operate. For those schools that are preparing for online-only or hybrid approaches, we have prepared suggestions and collected resources to support that work. Here is what we will cover:
- Back-to-School Resources for Hybrid & Online Classes
- Setting Up Your Online Learning Environment
- Teaching From Home: How Vision Can Help
- Vision Integration Considerations
- Vision Remote Learning FAQs
Back-to-School Resources for Hybrid & Online Classes
Last spring, teachers from traditionally brick-and-mortar classrooms got a taste of remote teaching. Those experiences offered insight into new considerations in how classes must operate this fall. Here are some quick tips, as well as links to more in-depth resources, that can help ease the transition from classroom teaching to an online or hybrid teaching model.
Another great resource to check out is our on-demand webinar, Secrets from Online Educators, where fully-online educators share how they build student relationships and a sense of community in a distance learning environment.
Teaching online is still teaching. Many of the same engagement theories from in-person teaching still apply online. Student-centered active learning online still includes real-world problem-solving opportunities, experimental methods that guide students toward a conclusion, and thinking and discussing learning activities.
Unfortunately, not all students and teachers will be working in optimal, distraction-free environments. So one of the most important things to remember about engagement this fall is that students, their families and teachers will all need a little extra grace as they cope with other worries and stressors.
Find new engagement indicators. Classroom teachers have traditionally been able to capture a quick measure of student engagement by just looking at their faces. Are they curious, interested or passionate about class activities? While you may still be able to measure engagement visually during video-oriented synchronous online sessions, classes this fall will have many more scenarios where this won't be possible. Much of the work students will be doing won't be on camera, so educators may need to find new indicators of engagement.
Here are a few engagement measures to consider: Are students logging on often? Are they submitting their work on time? Are they reacting to the learning in some way, by asking question and seeking additional resources? Are they responding to feedback and is their voice apparent in classroom forums and boards? These are all indicators of how well a student is connecting with class topics.
Need ideas for engaging activities that are modified for online learning? Check out these ideas from Catlin Tucker an international trainer on blended learning.
Ask questions and empathize. During stressful times, social and emotional learning should be high priority, and conceptually the same principles that apply in the classroom apply in online or hybrid instruction. Many students are experiencing trauma, so community, connections and relationships will be critical in helping them meet the demands of online learning. Ask questions, listen with empathy, and reach out to students so they know you care. Create a safe space for students to talk about their worries or fears.
To get a quick check on your students’ needs, try using (or modifying for your own) this survey developed by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A quick survey like this one will help you develop a personalized plan for what each student needs to feel safe, and create an environment where students can ask questions that matter to them. If your students are too young for surveys, try to scheduling 1-on-1 chats to ask probing questions and validate their emotions. Try using this template from CASEL to structure those conversations, and keep organized notes on each student afterwards so you can connect with them later on interests or monitor for concerns.
For more Social and Emotional Learning resources, check out Reunite, Renew and Thrive: SEL Roadmap for Reopening School.
Hybrid or flexible online education. As they prepare to return this fall, some schools and districts are exploring hybrid or flexible models of online education. Hybrid flexible education can include a combination of face-to-face and online components in your instruction, which provides maximum flexibility for schools and students. An example would be streaming a live lesson, during which students have the option to attend in person, livestream the class while it’s happening, or watch a video recording of the class at a later time. (For an expanded version of this lesson, check out design examples for 50-minute and 75-minute class) The hybrid learning approach gives students the flexibility to attend online synchronously, in person synchronously or online asynchronously and provides multiple pathways for learners to succeed.
In an excerpt from a blog published by Phil On EdTech, Dr. Kevin Kelly from San Francisco State University discusses how hybrid-flexible class design offers:
- Learner Choice: Provide meaningful alternative participation modes and enable students to choose between participation modes daily, weekly, or topically.
- Equivalency: Provide learning activities in all participation modes which lead to equivalent learning outcomes.
- Reusability: Utilize artifacts from learning activities in each participation mode as “learning objects’ for all students.
- Accessibility: Equip students with technology skills and equitable access to all participation modes."
For more information on hybrid teaching and to learn about the pros and cons, read the entire article: COVID-19 Planning for Fall 2020: A Closer Look at Hybrid-Flexible Course Design.
Technology is a key component of remote learning, and with more technology comes new student safety and data security compliance challenges.
Schools are mandated to ensure students are using their school-provided devices appropriately and safely, even when they are at home. In addition, off-site device management elevates vulnerabilities to hackers, data theft, online scams and other online safety threats.
To protect students, Vision provides cloud-based web filtering that helps schools stay CIPA-compliant. Affordable and simple to set up, Vision Student Safety works seamlessly with or without Vision classroom management to keep all your Chromebooks users safe from harmful content.
To minimize cybersecurity risks and to protect data, our partners at ManagedMethods offer an affordable platform that manages security and detects student safety signals in G Suite for Education and Office 365. On their blog, they have more information on how to control third party apps in hybrid learning and student data privacy in remote learning.
Setting Up Your Online Learning Environment
As you consider your online learning environment, we have some tips and suggestions we have gathered from our customers and educational experts. Interested in what other districts have done? Visit the SETDA e
As much as we want to meet their needs educationally, we can’t if they are distracted by their need to feel safe.
- Set clear parameters for where / how students can ask questions or express their concerns such as a message to the teacher or a message board that is only on while the teacher is monitoring.
- Let students see your face when possible, such as through a good morning video.
- Create routines with clear expectations so students can feel successful.
- For more resources, see SEL and COVID-19 from CASEL.
A time of transition and anxiety may not be the best time to introduce an entirely new online experience to your students. Start slow, ramp up, and initially rely on resources that teachers and students are already familiar with.
- If your students are already using Google Classroom or another LMS, keep using it! Check out training materials and an On Demand Webinar about distance learning with Google.
- Provide tools for everyone, but not just a long list of apps. Consider your district’s values, and the best way to meet the needs of your student learners, and then provide essential tools for the job. Google has already compiled a resource of education apps and their context for use.
- Consider accessibility: SETDA resources for accessibility in eLearning
Students are working in varied environments with different access to internet, quiet spaces to work, and the ability to focus and be held accountable. Think about adjusting your expectations around productivity (quality not quantity).
- Focus on 1-2 subjects a day (content area teachers: 1 concept).
- Create a daily agenda / to do list for students so they are clear on what they need to accomplish. Communicate this expectation with parents, too!
- Still assign work “offline” such as reading a book, interviewing a family member, or using the space in the home to measure, compare, estimate etc. Online learning doesn’t mean all screen time.
Although summative assessments still play a role, use formative assessments to check in with your students’ progress. A lot of the informal checks that occur naturally in the off-line classroom will be missed, so consider ways to check for understanding that are low risk for the learner.
- Kahoot! is currently offering free pro services to run fun and interactive content-based quizzes.
- Flipgrid can be used to have students record their process on one completed math problem rather than a worksheet with 30 problems.
- Use your Vision software to monitor student progress on assignments and send messages of encouragement.
Teaching From Home: How Vision can help
As you build your remote instruction practice, here are some suggestion on how Vision classroom management can help:
- Use an extended monitor, in addition to your computer screen, to keep one eye on your students as you talk to them or present. Start Vision on one monitor and start your Google Meet or Zoom meeting on the other screen.
- No extended monitor? Zoom allows you to share your entire screen or a particular window. Share only the window that students need to see, and keep Vision running beyond this window for your reference.
- The Filter web feature limits the sites that students can visit. This is especially helpful if you are delivering live instruction and want to keep students focused on your Meet or Zoom screen.
- Custom filters can be made in the Vision Portal.
- We've created a filter list you can upload and use.
Follow these instructions to set up and use the whitelist.
- Push links with relevant resources to student groups
- Demo out a student’s live view to highlight student work
- Draw Attention to encourage students to pause and reflect or to redirect attention (Pro tip: Use your own image and Demo Mode for a personalized “pause” message).
If you have a daily schedule that includes specific time when students should be working, you can use Vision to monitor and assist as needed.
- Live View provides a closeup view of any student's screen
- Need to document what you see? Click Snapshot to save a copy of the image on your computer
- Send a Message with suggestions, encouragement, or redirection to a particular student.
- Send a Message to the entire class to provide additional instructions
- Web filter limits browsing to keep students on task
If you are holding office hours, Vision can facilitate 1:1 communication during this time. Instead of sending links back and forth, simply view what’s on their screen:
- To support a changing roster, create an Office Hours class in Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams and send the invitation link to the student.
- Start the Office Hours class in Vision.
- While you and the student talk over Google Voice, Google Meet or the phone, the student can share their work with you by opening it on their screen.
- Unenroll the student from the Office Hours Classroom so you do not capture them again.
If a student is having trouble with their Chromebook or an online resource, you can use the Live View feature in Vision to see a full view of the student's laptop and help resolve the issue.
- Snapshot (within Live View) can document the problem. Send the image to your IT team for faster problem determination and resolution.
- Change the IP settings restrictions only if you have the authority to make the decision for your entire domain. Check with your district as well as local / state privacy regulations.
- Set specific times for this monitoring to be available for teachers such as 8am-2pm.
- Consider enforcing the rule that teachers use the “Desktop View.” This will ensure students receive a notification that they are being monitored.
- Communicate with your students via means other than Vision about the purpose of the time you are monitoring.
- Use Vision to highlight positive aspects of the learning environment, not just punitively.
- Remember that students can only be captured by one teacher at a time.
- Use Vision to target students who need help navigating online curriculum and provide targeted support.
Vision / Vision Pro support Remote Desktop Services. This means that the Vision Student module can be installed and run on a central server and then be accessed by multiple students from almost any device that they use to connect to the server. Here are additional instructions.
Vision / Vision Pro software are only supported on Windows and Mac devices.
Vision / Vision Pro software only supports access for the teacher to monitor and interact with their students. If your IT team is looking for a remote support solution to access their teacher devices, please download Netop Remote Control On Demand. Extended free trials are currently being offered to support schools as they navigate distance-learning.
Vision for Chromebooks
Vision for Chromebooks, by default, restricts student-teacher connectivity via the IP range. To lift this restriction and allow monitoring at home, see the Admin Policies tab in the Vision Portal. Only a user with an Administrator role in the Google Admin Console and access to the Vision Portal for Administrators can make this change. Please see section 3.1 of the Admin Guide for instructions on establishing Admin users.
Vision for Chromebooks, by default, restricts student- teacher connectivity via the IP range. This ensures that student-teacher devices connect when they are in the same location. The new custom setting in the Vision Portal for Administrators allows Admin level users to lift this restriction and teachers will be able to monitor students when they are not in the same location. Please check with your local and state privacy laws before enacting this change.
By default, Vision will treat everyone as a teacher. To grant Vision access to determine if a user is a teacher or an administrator, please follow the steps in 3.1 of our Vision for Chromebooks Admin Guide.
Vision has been developed and tested in the school environment. It is an internet dependent, application-based solution. Although we have network recommendations for our at-school users, the recent release of at home monitoring includes differences in environments that cannot be accounted for. If you see some students but not all, ask the students to restart their Chromebook or wait 2-3 minutes to see if student connects.
Vision for Chromebooks software only supports access for the teacher to monitor and interact with their students Chromebooks. If your IT team is looking for a remote support solution to access their teacher devices, please download Netop Remote Control On Demand. Extended free trials are currently being offered to support schools as they navigate distance-learning.
Vision 365, by default, restricts student-teacher connectivity via the IP range. To lift this restriction and allow monitoring at home, see the Admin Policies tab in the Vision Portal. Only a user with an Administrator role and access to the Vision Portal for Administrators can make this change. Please see section 2.5 of the Admin Guide for instructions on setting up remote learning access.
Vision 365, by default, restricts student- teacher connectivity via the IP range. This ensures that student-teacher devices connect when they are in the same location. The new custom setting in the Vision Portal for Administrators allows Admin level users to lift this restriction and teachers will be able to monitor students when they are not in the same location. Please check with your local and state privacy laws before enacting this change.
By default, Vision will treat everyone as a teacher. To grant Vision access to determine if a user is a teacher or an administrator, please follow the steps in 2.2 of our Vision 365 Admin Guide.
Vision has been developed and tested in the school environment. It is an internet dependent, application-based solution. Although we have network recommendations for our at-school users, the recent release of at home monitoring includes differences in environments that cannot be accounted for. If you see some students but not all, ask the students to restart their laptop or wait 2-3 minutes to see if student connects.