Hybrid learning is a new reality during the COVID-19 pandemic. It involves remote and in-school instruction, and may significantly alter the duties of teachers and parents. The combination often involves receiving class instruction online at home while completing written work and other typical “homework” activities at school. This is no doubt a very different scenario for students, and distance learning in Phoenix, AZ is going to be difficult for some of them. To get started, here are five tips for adjusting to hybrid learning:
- Establish a routine: Post a schedule that clearly communicates which days are spent on campus and which ones are spent at home. Review this schedule at the start of each week so children know what to expect. If there are changes in the schedule or format, inform them immediately so they do not have to deal with more surprises than necessary. Routines are often soothing, and they can help immensely during uncertain times.
- Provide separate devices: If you have multiple hybrid learners in your household, each of them should have their own device for online learning. Some schools, including Pointe Schools, provide Chromebooks to families in need. Chromebooks are very effective for students, and best of all, they are more affordable than other mobile devices. If your school does not provide them, you can likely find one for a reasonable price online, especially if it is a previous year’s model. Just check with your school for technical requirements first before buying the cheapest model available.
- Encourage independent learning: One of the gifts of hybrid learning is the ease with which students can expand on their lessons. If a teacher provides links for further research, encourage your children to read them. This can be a good opportunity to help students sharpen their Google skills and become more interested in the world around them.
- Combine learning with physical activity: There are apps available that encourage students to take a walk while they learn. The Walking Classroom is one of these apps. If a teacher provides the link to a podcast or other recording, allowing kids to walk or play as they listen on headphones helps with attention and focuses excess energy. Many of us take walks while listening to the news or our favorite podcasts, and children are capable of doing the same thing.
- Encourage interaction: This is not the time to be hard on your kids because they spend too much time on FaceTime or Zoom. Allow them to interact virtually with friends whenever possible. Even if they are seeing friends during their on-campus work sessions, they do not have the usual outlets of dances, going to the movies or anything else reflecting their previous social lives. This may be the best way to socialize right now. Also, teachers continue to assign group projects that require interaction. That will also have students texting and chatting online more than usual.
All of our campuses at Pointe Schools in Phoenix, AZ are prepared for distance learning. Our reopening plan includes specific conditions for traditional, online or hybrid learning, depending on the number of COVID-19 cases in the community. Please contact us today to learn more about our plans.