Stories of Remote Teaching is a limited series of blog posts designed to help teachers and students sort out the most effective teaching and learning strategies in the situation with which we are currently faced. The strategies in this series are created for teachers and recommended by teachers. If you have questions or recommendations, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
↔️↕️ Not all who wander are lost (even with a hall pass)
Some students are highly capable of following written, step-by-step directions in a bulleted list; however, some are not. Many students require visuals and more detailed directions which cannot be communicated with text alone. Enter: Google Slides. Slides can be a highly visual medium for teachers to communicate with student including step-by-step directions, but also integrating visual elements, such as flowcharts, images, and videos. This post offers a couple of suggestions to liven up assignment directions within a virtual environment.
"My students struggle to follow the directions posted in Google Classroom. They get lost, frustrated, and refuse to complete assignments."
Tip #1: Use Google Slides to communicate directions visually.
In the example below, Haddonfield elementary teacher Ms. Nguyen outlines her students' activities for an entire day. Expectations and directions are clearly stated and numbered, links and videos are embedded, and screenshots are used to highlight specific items in which to focus attention. Each student is provided a copy and instructed to delete particular slides, as assignments are completed. The teacher even manages to inject some humor, with the use of Bitmojis. We will discuss this option more thoroughly in the next tip.
Tip #2: Use Bitmojis to personalize and make your presentations a 'bit' more fun.
While we are unable to be physically present, maintaining positive relationships and connections to our students becomes increasingly necessary—yet infinitely more difficult. Sharing personal videos or pictures may be highly effective; however, it is not always possible or practical. Adding personalized emojis, known as Bitmojis, may be a more practical option for adding a personal (and often entertaining) touch to your presentations.
How to create a Bitmoji
Creating an account is only possible from the Bitmoji Android or iOS mobile app. Once logged in, you may be prompted to choose between three Bitmoji styles: Deluxe, Classic, or Bitstrips. You can then begin customizing your avatar.
You may also be prompted to create a Bitmoji with a selfie—a quick and easy way to begin designing your virtual self. Once you are done customizing your Bitmoji, you can install the Bitmoji Chrome Extension to begin using your avatar in Google Slides, Docs, etc.