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Selecting & Using Digital Learning Tools

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the perceived need to seek out new digital resources. But new is not always needed. Start by leveraging the resources and tools that you are familiar and comfortable with. Where you find you have gaps, look for materials to augment what you have.

Given that the current suspension of in-class instruction is happening across the world, there will be many sources of materials and strategies being offered through educator networks and social media connections. Some suggestions are listed below as starting points. Check with your school or district to see if they have any lists of recommended resources and tools.

  • Many digital collaboration and teaching tools are available and in use by teachers, such as Microsoft Teams, Moodle, Canvas, MyEd BC etc. Check with your school or district for support and training opportunities that may be made available.
  • TeachBC is an online resource of teaching materials, lessons, and research relevant to the K-12 BC curriculum. The website is public and open to everyone through the generosity of BC public school teachers. Teachers and organizations can share their teaching resources or educational research by registering and uploading their materials or providing links. Anyone can browse and download the resources for classroom or professional use. Browsing is easy. Users can search by subject, grade level, resource type, title, description, language, and more.
  • At Focused Education, teachers can access the BC Digital Classroom, a core collection of digital resources for information, lessons, and activities. These resources are available to students also. Focused Education has archived webinars highlighting use of the tools, and is scheduling additional webinars this spring. Teachers can find information on peer- reviewed digital and print resources in the K12 Evaluated Resource Collection, discover curated collections featuring free websites for instructional use, and Indigenous authors and content.
  • Keep Learning BC is a central place where families can find ideas for everyday educational activities, annotated links to free learning resources, as well as how to help children keep well and learn while they’re at home. You may want to direct parents and/or caregivers to this site if they are looking for activities or strategies to support their child’s learning.

Always fully review online resources or lessons before assigning them to learners—even if they are from a trusted source. This is an excellent opportunity for collaboration among staff within a school and across a district as teachers provide their observations and recommendations to other educators.

When reviewing resources, use established criteria to assess suitability, such as the criteria used by Focused Education Resources. For more information about resource selection check out the Learning Resource Selection for K-12 Educators online course.

Consider whether resources support B.C.’s concept-based, competency driven curriculum and meet other criteria as listed below:

  • Concept-based: focused on the key concepts, principles, and generalizations within and across disciplines; emphasis on conceptual understanding and transfer of learning; focus on in-depth exploration of topics to gain deeper understanding
  • Competency driven: focused on the ability of learners to perform a task as expected within a specific discipline or area of learning…that ability represents a combination of skills, processes, behaviors, and habits of the mind.
  • provides opportunity for the learners to develop and use targeted curricular competencies.
  • appropriate for the target grade level.
  • provides the opportunity for cross-curricular learning. (It will be more difficult for parents and/or caregivers to manage lessons for all areas of learning each day so this means that cross-curricular learning should be a priority.)
  • provides opportunities for all learners to engage in learning and explicitly incorporates differentiated learning opportunities.
  • Follows instructional and learning best practices.
  • For younger learners, prepare the information that you will provide to parents and care givers along with the lesson/activity/resource. A similar framework is also appropriate for older, more independent learners with information and context being shared directly with them. The amount and type of information you provide will depend on the expectations you have set with individual families. For each lesson/activity/resource you provide, consider providing the following:
    • Identify which learning areas and which learning standards (curricular competencies and content) are being worked on
    • Provide them with any background or contextual information about the lesson/activity/resource (how long will it take, what is included (i.e. video resource, writing activity, etc.), any additional materials that might be needed, etc.)
    • Connections to previous learning. For younger learners, let parents know what their child has been working on and already knows in relation to the lesson. Encourage parents to talk to their child about this previous learning prior to doing the lesson. For older and more independent learners, have learners refer to previous content or learning activities that will assist them in their task.

Selecting & Using Digital Learning Tools (pdf)

District TL Working Group Resources

Since the onset of remote learning, the District TL working group has come together to create a source for trusted and vetted resources for teachers planning online instruction.

The site includes the VSB Digital Library and additional resources curated by VSB Teacher Librarians. Search by subject, grade level, core competency and text as well as recommend additional resources to add to the searchable table.

https://vsbworld.sharepoint.com/sites/ContinuityofLearningResources

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