This week an educator asked if I would consider adding some information on Christian School Insights regarding online learning since many schools are no longer meeting in traditional classrooms because of the COVID-19 national and state guidelines. Many schools that have not offered any type of online classes are finding this task to be overwhelming. Furthermore, many teachers are finding out that online instruction is harder than being in a traditional classroom. Anyone who has been involved in online instruction would agree that it takes a lot of extra time to create and manage an online course, especially if one is a teacher with more than 15 students. This is especially demanding as the teacher tracks students to know where the learner has understanding and where he is struggling.
The quality of your online instruction is being assessed by students and parents alike. For private schools, the assessment process is even more important since parents are paying tuition. If the instruction is unacceptable parents might consider withdrawing their children from your school. They may also question re-enrolling for the new school year. It is important for Christian school administrators to carefully monitor the reasons for withdrawal and to provide assistance to staff in creating and delivering quality lessons. Administrators can not assume that the entire staff is delivering quality instruction that is motivating to students and appreciated by parents. Regardless of the type of lesson delivery system your school is using, the content must continue to offer a Christian distinctive.
If you are looking for a content authoring tool that can interface with your existing learning management system, you might consider taking a look at Softchalk Create. Even if your school provides software for you, adding a lesson using SoftChalk Create would help you add a new dimension to what you are already doing. SoftChalk works well with Blackboard, Buzz, Brightspace, Canvas. Jenzabar, Moodle, Schoology, and many others.
SoftChalk Create is a “powerful, content authoring tool, makes it super-easy for you to add all types of learning content to your lessons from all types of sources including assessment questions, interactive activities, text annotations, audio and videos, and widgets. You can embed iFrames, and content produced by other content authoring programs including Articulate and Captivate. Using SoftChalk Create to bundle a variety of content resources in your lessons will help you engage your students, provide personalized learning experiences and improve learning outcomes.”
I have used this software for the past five years and I am very impressed with it. I especially appreciate the variety of activities that can be incorporated into any lesson. The program has a free subscription for 30 days and there is free access to SoftChalk Cloud through June 30th. The Cloud version allows you to access your lessons anywhere. All changes are saved to a cloud account for easy access. Here is a link to the free offer:
Even if you already are using a program, you might want to look at this free offer and try it for just one lesson. Take what you have been doing in the classroom or online and that has been working best and then build a SoftChalk digital lesson to surround that lesson. Your students and parents will be better motivated. Plus, the learning curve is very reasonable and there are plenty of instructional videos.
One of the directives you have most likely heard from your administrator is the need to make your lessons more interactive. With SoftChalk Create, you can “create interactive games, self-assessment quiz questions and annotated text. Embed one or many interactives in your lesson to make the learning experience a more interactive one for your students. Creating interactives is super-easy! More than 20 different types of interactive games and 10 quiz question types can be created using the activity templates in SoftChalk Create.”
It only takes a few minutes to create jigsaw puzzles, image labeling, sorting, and more. Here is a link to a Sample Activities page for ideas on how you can use interactive activities in your lessons. Softchalk also offers Self-assessment questions include matching, multiple-choice, short answer, sentence completion and true/false.
Regardless of the number of instructional days remaining in the school year, using this free version of SolfChalk Create and Cloud will help you finish the school year strong.