As a computer science teacher in Florida, I found myself navigating uncharted waters when the pandemic broke out and forced us to switch to distance learning. It was a challenging and transformative experience, but through perseverance and adaptability, I discovered various tools and strategies to stay in touch with my students. Today I want to share my experience and shed light on the activities I have undertaken and the tools I have used to keep in touch with my students during these unprecedented times.
Creation of digital communication channels
When the transition to distance learning became a reality, creating reliable digital communication channels became my top priority. I used existing school platforms such as the Learning Management System (LMS) so that students could access important updates, assignments and resources. These centralized platforms acted as a digital center where students could familiarize themselves with the course materials and present their work.
Email also played a vital role in keeping in touch. It served as an official channel for sending out important announcements, clarifying instructions and solving the problems of individual students. Although e-mail may seem traditional, its simplicity and familiarity have made it an effective tool for communicating with students and their parents.
Virtual classes and video conferences
To recreate the feeling of a physical classroom environment, I used virtual classroom tools and video conferencing platforms. These tools have allowed me to conduct live classes, interact with students in real time and facilitate interactive discussions. Thanks to video conferencing, I could see and hear my students, which allowed me to conduct more individual training and created a sense of connection, despite the physical distance.
Virtual whiteboards and shared screens were invaluable for delivering lectures, explaining complex concepts, and demonstrating coding exercises. These visual aids helped to maintain student engagement and improve understanding even in a virtual environment.
Digital assignments and assessments
One of the problems of distance learning was the effective assessment of student performance. To solve this problem, I used digital assignments and grades. Online tests and interactive assignments contributed to instant feedback, allowing students to assess their understanding and allowing me to monitor their progress. With LMS, I was able to distribute assignments, collect materials, and provide individual feedback to guide students’ learning.
Discussion forums and collaboration platforms
Distance learning presented a unique challenge when it came to facilitating cooperation and discussions between students. To overcome this, I have integrated online discussion forums and collaboration platforms into my teaching strategy. These platforms provided students with the opportunity to interact, ask questions and share ideas. By creating special topics to discuss various topics, students could participate in meaningful conversations, offer support to colleagues and collaborate in group projects.
Individual registration and virtual office opening hours
Recognizing the importance of maintaining personal connections with students, I conducted individual checks and suggested the opening hours of the virtual office. These individual classes allowed me to solve students’ problems, provide additional support and make sure that each student felt valued and supported on their learning path. The flexibility of the virtual office hours allowed students to contact at a convenient time for them and receive individual assistance when needed.
For me, a computer science teacher in Florida, the transition to distance learning during the pandemic was undoubtedly not easy. However, by using digital communication channels, virtual classrooms, digital assignments and assessments, facilitating online discussions and collaboration, and maintaining personal connections with students, I was able to successfully navigate this new environment. Although the circumstances were unprecedented, the tools and strategies used during this period.
I told you what tools helped me in my work, this article is purely informative. Thank you for reading my works.