Guide to Remote Learning K-12

love to learn pencil signage on wall near walking man

As schools rapidly migrate to a remote learning environment, a learning management system built with distance education in mind is imperative. The online classroom is a mix of virtual face-to-face experiences, assignments, files, and conversations accessible on a mobile device, tablet, PC, or browser. 

Moving a course from classroom to virtual classroom requires a detailed migration plan. While your class content stays the same, how you present that information might change in a remote setting. While you as an instructor maintain eye contact and control in a traditional classroom setting, the same is not true in a remote setting. For example, in the classroom you may have an insect collection you use during a science section, you must get creative to recreate that experience in a remote experience. To accomplish this, you can either take a video of the insect collection and discuss it or you can find a free online resource.  

Instructors – don’t let perceived hurdles of remote learning stop you from doing what you do best, teach! Yes, there is a learning curve. Yes, it is going to take some work. Yes, you are going to have fun doing this. Here’s some tips and tricks we feel will help you be creative with your content. 

* Do not try to recreate all the content – you might be surprised to find how much free resources are available to you. If your district does not already have digital lesson plans, google to see what you find.  

Sample Google search for 'lesson plans'

* Take Advantage of Free Resources 

* McGraw Hill – if your school uses McGraw Hill textbooks, you may have access to their online resources. If not, they also offer free ones. 

* Khan Academy – a unique and refreshing method to teaching. Even if you do not use the curriculum, choose limited course content that reinforces your instruction. 

* Smithsonian Learning Labs – is the K-12 section of their online learning resources. Jam packed with features, their offerings will add excitement to your class activities.

* Encourage Student Collaboration and Engagement

* Give student assignments that include opportunities to respond to the lesson material and then respond to peers’ work 

* Design assignments to incorporate at-home, hands-on learning 

* See for more ideas 

* Plan a Virtual Field Trip 

* Give student assignments that include opportunities to respond to the lesson material and then respond to peers’ work

* American Museum of Natural History – at the time of this writing, they are offering a virtual field trip called ‘Mars Watch Party’ 

* Online courses – use these courses as the ‘anchor’ for a virtual field trip. Or make your own trip details. Use a previously recorded field trip and incorporate into your curriculum. 

Other digital museum visits such as The St. Louis Science Museum  

* Provide Students with Emotional Support Resources 

* Anxiety/mental – especially during COVID – instructors and administrators may become a student’s preferred confidante. If you notice unusual behavior, document it and try to get help. 

* Instructors sometimes are more than teachers, they get involved – there was a news article about a teacher caring for her student’s newborn child because her parents were ill with COVID-19 

* Ensure you have trusted technology partner – Instancy is a great choice! 

If you are part of the K-12 school system, the Instancy Learning Platform can help you create an online school with multiple teachers and classes. Each class has a repository of blended learning resources such as eLearning modules, virtual classroom sessions, and social learning tools like discussions and messaging. Content can be individually assigned to students and their progress can be monitored by the teachers.  

Contact us for more information. 

Instancy Team 

Video based learning made easy with Instancy Learning Platform

women holding smartphone

We no longer think twice about watching a video versus reading a document. Sadly, fewer people are reading these days as interactive media is now the first choice for most. With the lower cost of entry into video, it didn’t take long for video-based learning to become popular. Some statistics to back that up include: 

* says the typical learner remembers 10% of text they read, 65% of what they visually see. If the two are combined, there is a 95% retention in audio-visual; hence video’s popularity. 

* International Data Corporation (IDC) states that by the end of 2019, video was responsible for 80% of internet usage around the world. 

* In 2020, 98% of organizations plan to include video in their learning strategy planning according to Chief Learning Magazine 

What is Video based Learning? 

As the term implies, we can use videos for learning or knowledge transfer. A course or learning event can be entirely video-based or video is used to enhance virtual classroom material. For example, an instructor might have a stand-alone video be a prerequisite to the course. Videos is great for supplemental knowledge after the class or even as a topic for class discussion during the virtual classroom.  

How we implement video within the curriculum design is important. A long video may be difficult for the student to stream or download. Excessive video length may result in the student getting distracted or not focusing entirely thus losing educational value. All content developers incorporate storytelling into their work. Video is the ultimate storyteller. It allows emotion to surface, making it more persuasive than other content. We all learn differently and adapt to one learning style over another; i.e., visual, auditory or kinesthetic. The cost to produce video has dropped significantly. When designed correctly, multiple short video snippets allow the learner to take advantage of microlearning thus making the learning event overwhelming. 

woman in black long sleeve shirt sitting in front of silver macbook

Benefits of Video Based Learning 

The benefits of video far outweigh any risks. Younger learners prefer interactive learning, especially when it is also entertaining. Video-based learning: 

* Can make a dull eLearning course come to life because of how it engages our creative mind 

* In 2020, 98% of organizations plan to include video in their learning strategy planning according to Chief Learning Magazine 

* When learners are engaged, they are more motivated and participation more 

* Relaxes us thereby reducing cognitive overload  

* Simplifies complex topics  

* Takes tedious process instruction and simplifies it because the learner watches the process versus reading the process and visualizing it at the same time 

Video Best Practices 

* Before producing a video, set clear-cut content objectives and learner outcomes 

* Keep videos under three minutes 

* Always include audio 

Add close caption so learners can also read the text (also makes it ADA compliant) 

* Do not use screen captures for your videos if teaching a software application – incorporate screen recordings 

The Instancy Learning Platform does not produce video. It delivers and manages it. Instancy helps you manage video-based learning: 

* Build a repository of videos (upload videos or link to external video using embed code) and add meta-data properties to the videos 

* With Instancy authoring tools, build learning modules or learning tracks and add videos 

* Deliver video-based learning on private labeled web portals and mobile native apps (iOS and Android apps) 

* Enhance video with follow-up questions or quizzes to ensure learners can demonstrate the knowledge gained by watching videos 

* Build a gallery or library of videos within the Learning Management Portal to enable learners to search and find relevant videos as just-in-time micro-learning 

* Reports: Track learner progress on the videos/percentage completion 

Technology is moving rapidly. We are beginning to see surveys embedded in videos. One video can be cut into different segments, with only content shown to the learner because of choices they make within the video. It is an exciting time to be a learning professional! 

The Instancy Team