Education in 2020 - Zooming to where?

Sooooo were zooming... and we kind of have no say in the matter.

With US coronavirus cases totaling nearly 7.5 million and deaths hovering slightly above 210,000, COVID-19 safety and prevention have become a way of life. That said no one fault parents for selecting the online option or deciding to homeschool their children. To be honest, I thank the Lord that my kiddos are still little guys. The thought of them being in school right now scary, to say the least.

So, as educators, the questions start rolling in, and important ones at that. Like: How do I do small groups? How do I complete running records? How do I ensure students aren't cheating? What can I do to make lessons more engaging? How do I set up my lighting? What standards can I set when they are at home? How do I not overwhelm students that might be dealing with serious trauma right now? Can I do hands-on projects? How do I deliver supplies? The list goes on and on and on. At this point, we reintroduce the handy dandy 'Serenity Prayer',

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference."

We can't control everything. We just can't. For example, try as we might, teachers cannot control the environment of our student's homes. So, stop trying. Focus on the things you can determine. You can set norms and expectations for your zoom call. Decent attire, a solid background, pencil/pen, and school supplies ready. A 1-2-3 Checklist can be done for each student prior to the lesson. The mindset you can instill in your students is powerful. Dwell on what can be done rather than what can't.

Increasing engagement, making small groups a part of your routine, and ensuring fidelity in your evaluations are all realistic goals for teachers in the virtual environment. Some of this goals are achieved through modifying traditional classroom routines to a virtual environment. However, some things, like breakout rooms for allowing brief chats with peers, can only be achieved by utilizing features within the technology; unfortunately, all tech is not created equal. Many students are using whatever device they have available and educators need to know what your student's device allows for. Otherwise, you'll be pulling out your hair, trying to get students to engage using a feature that just isn't there.

So, here it is, my gift to you...

I hope this matrix provides some clarity when it comes to what feature works where? This data also assumes that you are using the standard Zoom version and not the Pro version.

Hope it helps! Download entire matrix from our website. Here!

Zoom Accessibility Features Matrix (1)
Download P • 47KB

Adam Johnson is the founder of the Lighthouse Guild for the Gifted and an elementary school administrator. His dream is to change education by building morally sound leaders by growing them in all forms of intelligence through elite programming and eventually a school.

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