Your Teacher’s Distance Learning Toolkit

Distance Learning

We shared this in our newsletter, but we wanted to make sure everyone has access to this resource! If you’re new to distance learning (many teachers are doing it for the first time), these resources will be very valuable to you!

I know a lot of you are transitioning to distance learning. I created three 10-15 minute videos to help you get started. PLEASE, I implore you, for the sake of your students, your families, and your sanity, watch the videos. They won’t take a lot of time (40 minutes tops), but they will SAVE you time and stress. If you love your colleagues, please share these with your colleagues and administrators, as well.

In addition to the videos, I’ve worked all weekend to pull together a distance learning toolkit for you. Because you are already a newsletter subscriber, you should (in theory) have automatic access to the toolkit. This toolkit has tutorials to get you started with different digital tools, online, and offline resources to help you quickly put packets together to make things accessible to everyone. If you have used the coronavirus guide, I’ve moved the online and offline resources to this toolkit, and gave it a healthy dose of steroids. I’m still working on the guide, so please check it often for updates.

As an online instructional designer, the biggest issue you will face with distance learning is overwhelm. Throwing resources at people without the proper scaffolds is the fastest way to overwhelm your families, your students, and yourselves. Here are the three tips to follow when going online:

  1. Rebuild your distance learning community by establishing frequent connection to your students. Connection, NOT content. You’re in a new classroom, now. And you have to teach and establish your routines. This is week 1 and possibly week 2.
  2. Distance learning takes more time than face-to-face. Every hour of face-to-face equals 3 hours of distance learning time, because students must learn a lot of things on their own.
  3. Less is more. Focus on quality over quantity. For each link you provide, you need to make sure families know (a) how to use link or resource; (b) what student is supposed to do with the reource; and (c) what the student will get/value/learn from the resource.

This is just a snapshot of what’s in the three videos and in the guide. In these next few weeks, I’ll be covering topics like: how to motivate your students to learn during a pandemic; how to teach distance learning equitably in offline settings, how to create cognitive, procedural, and strategic scaffolds; digital tools to save you time; and ways to develop your distance learning classroom community.In other words. I GOT YOU. We’re going to get through this, and you are going to be awesome. In fact, you are already awesome, and don’t you forget it!

The other thing — you are not alone. Because this is a specialization of mine, and because I’m seeing such a dire need right now for the right training in distance education, PLEASE use me as a resource. You can even invite your admins to meet with me, and I’d be more than happy to run a few workshops to get people situated. My inbox is open, so email me at if you have questions, suggestions, or help with distance learning. I’m here for you. Also, I invite you to join our amazing Facebook community, where I’ll be live-streaming and sharing resources and updates to help you teach during this crazy time in our lives.

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