ViewSonic Corp. has announced that it has made its Professional Development (PD) team available to assist teachers with distance learning advice and support. As part of the ViewSonic distance learning initiative during the COVID-19 outbreak, the PD team will offer one-on-one online support for teachers with any learning initiatives they may have, including topics such as distance learning as a whole, tools for distance learning, curriculum development, as well as video creation or conferencing for lessons.
Teachers and students now face an entirely new way of teaching and learning. New tools are required, both on the hardware and software side, and are necessary to share ideas, communicate, and ensure student learning.
Some teachers may have concerns with distance learning as a concept, even without the "learning" part of it. A lot of what happens in the classroom during the instructional piece is being able to individualize the learning process or break it down so that every student is able to understand it. Going digital doesn’t necessarily allow for that direct integration.
The ViewSonic Professional Development team offers some general guidance:
Adapt to the new normal: It’s important to set out goals and objectives that can be accomplished. It takes time for both the teacher and student to get comfortable with the new environment and pattern of learning.
Class time replication: Weekly assignments, and projects are all ways to assess learning. Think about the amount of time for instruction, classwork, and discussions that occur in your traditional class period. It's important to not assign busy work that goes beyond that amount of time.
Teach outside the box: Remote and distance learning is about learning and integrating new ways to educate. Get feedback from parents and students and make the most of the resources that are available online, and in a lot of cases, free.
"Remote and distance learning lessons are definitely different than inside the confines of a classroom," said Blake Everhart, solution training manager at ViewSonic Americas. "As a former teacher, I understand there’s sometimes a gap between learning the scope and sequence of the technology side that can match up with the lessons you want to teach. The ability to create and complete lessons, and how to filter through the many resources that are out there makes it tough to focus. That’s why my team and I at ViewSonic are making ourselves available to help out and make things less overwhelming."