If there is one thing that we can all agree on in 2020, it is that nothing comes as a shock or surprise when it comes to what life throws our way personally and professionally as educators.
I firmly believe--when looking at the positive aspects of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic--that this situation has made us even more empathetic toward others and bolstered our instructional strategies for students.
Despite all the chaos and uncertainty, each of you have shown up, taught, coached and cared for the students of Mississippi. That is admirable.
We are moving forward at the RCU, working toward alternate measures of program quality, studying the impact of formative assessment on statewide test results and administering fall testing. We have flexed our practices to meet the needs of the school districts that have done the same.
There is not a perfect, cookie-cutter method of finding our way this year, but we are all working toward the same goal of benefiting the students of Mississippi. I am reminded of the quote by Henry Adams, "A teacher affects eternity; he (or she) can never tell where his influence stops." This is what drives me every day, and it is evident that it motivates each of you as well.
For our educational technology focus of the month, I want to discuss some of the ways that educators are interacting with students in a remote or instructional technology fashion this fall.
Greg Kulowiec provides us a digital station model template that helps teachers have a workable solution in the online world. If you have not used HyperDocs in your classroom, you really should consider exploring the world of this format of student-centered, digital lessons.
Last, if you have not heard of Loom, you should check it out. I am torn between using it or EdPuzzle more. Both are great ways to embed video in a variety of ways with Canvas and Google Classroom integration capabilities. This fall I have used both in my classes at Mississippi State with positive feedback from students.
Consider using a few of these as you adapt the spring semester for your classes!
Remember to reflect on the successes and setbacks you encounter this fall with the mindset that you are making a difference in the lives of our students for a better tomorrow!
Sean Owen, PhD