Virtual learning is here to stay. Teachers and parents need support in this critical time to be sure learning doesn't come to a stand-still. Here's how you can help.
Your organization knows that the arts are a highly effective tool for engaging students. Now is the time to share what you know in new, virtual ways. Here are 10 tips to navigate the migration of your educational content to online platforms for little to no cost.
1. Focus on core objectives
Decide which core learning objectives are most important to address, which may be fewer than you originally intended. You’ll be more successful by taking the “less is more” approach.
2. Set up your virtual gathering space
Invest the time in creating one digital space where staff can post curriculum, access resources, and students can upload assignments. Use a cloud-based system like Google Drive or Dropbox, or a more sophisticated learning management system (LMS) like Canvas.
3. Train the teachers
Instead of focusing all of your resources on strategies to deliver content only to students, remember to take the time to train your staff, educational partners, and parents on how to use the technology you’ve chosen to deliver your content.
4. Post curriculum online
Post parts of your existing curricular catalog on your website for teachers and parents to access anywhere. Organize it by subject matter and grade level to make it easy to navigate. Consider only posting select lessons and activities to entice people to sign-up for virtual lessons (if you have them). Check out how we helped Great Lakes Theather organize their curriculum online.
5. Be a curator
Are you feeling overwhelmed with the number of resources out there right now? So are your teachers and parents. Use your discerning eye to sort through the volume to curate a list that is tailored specifically for those you serve.
6. Customize content
Educators are making a lot of changes to their curriculum between now and the end of the year. If you have experience with curriculum design, now is the time to offer assistance. This may be an opportunity to design new lessons and activities to add to your permanent catalog.
7. Leverage existing digital networks
Figure out ways to integrate your content into communications systems and channels that parents and teachers are already using. Perhaps it's your own website, the school's website, social media, or an LMS that teachers are already using. Remember to advertise your new virtual resources through your digital channels to drive traffic, like we did for Oberlin Center for the Arts.
8. Call your grants managers
Be proactive about updating your funders on program changes as a result of school closures. They understand that things change and it will help maintain a good relationship until the next grant cycle comes around.
9. Pay attention to metrics
Digital channels allow you to easily track traffic and engagement. Get access to your website's Google Analytics and monitor traffic regularly. Pay attention to how your content is performing on social media and email by using Google URL builder. This data will enable you to track the efficacy of your programming and make adjustments as needed.
10. Adopt a learning mindset
This is the time to flex your skills, learn new ways to deliver content effectively and adjust as you go. Stay in touch with colleagues to learn from their experiences. Be comfortable changing direction if something isn’t working. You got this!