Virtual Learning – Day 1
The talk over breakfast is “blah, I want to go see my friends” from my Freshman – who thought they would ever miss actually going to school?! I also heard “I don’t really understand the instructions yet” from my youngest. Of course, I feel confident it will be pretty straightforward and I can help him through any issues he runs into. I am remembering how it took him a month or two at the beginning of the school year for him to feel settled using his Surface device. I’m sure he’ll manage…
So how did the first day go?
My (sleepy) Freshman:
- I got him set up with his second monitor and he was mid-way into a chat with his advisory (home room) teacher by the time I checked on him again. Sweet.
- He told me at lunch he was “over it” already. He missed English class in-person. How can they act out a sword fight over video chat? He has a point… also, this sounds far more interesting than the English class I had in high school.
- He also mentioned one of his teachers “took 6 minutes to figure out how to share to the screen”. I explained that the first week was going to be a lot of learning for everyone and to have patience. I suspect those challenges will be resolved pretty quickly.
My 6th grader:
- I checked on him early and realized he didn’t have on his video chat while talking to his advisory teacher. When I leaned over to enable it, I got a VERY dirty look and he shook his head noooooo. Ok – there’s my shy kiddo. I let it go and left him to his audio-only conversation. It’s tough for some people, I know!
- Frustrated at lunch that he couldn’t find the email that had his schedule on it. I showed him how to use Outlook search, found it, and offered to print it. He insisted that he screenshot it so he could put it into OneNote so he knows where to find it. Good idea.
- He was later frustrated that he joined a meeting, only to find out his assignment was on OneNote already and he needed to just spend class time working on it. He seemed disappointed his teacher wasn’t going to stay on the video chat. “What was the point of joining that call?!” Welcome to the club kiddo…
- Both of them found the opportunity to get outside and run or walk the dog after class (gym class)
Overall, it seemed like a pretty productive day and I’m incredibly impressed with our faculty and staff who have pulled this whole thing off like rock stars on the very first day. Also keep in mind, they had 2 WEEKS to get it all set up, that’s crazy fast. What does this tell us?
Microsoft 365 for Education is AWESOME and so are our educators.
What tools were used on Day 1 with a 14 year old and a 12 year old?
- Outlook was still the primary means of communication to get everyone started
- Microsoft Teams was the primary means of meetings and communications once everyone saw the instructions to get started in the email
- Microsoft Forms was the tool used for attendance
- OneNote was used for notes and homework
- This pattern was the same for 6th grade as it was for 9th grade
What did I learn from my kids on Day 1 remote learning?
- They slid into remote learning without much of a hitch. I didn’t hear from them most of the day other than lunch time. Phew.
- Kids are SO resilient – although grumpy about not being with their friends, they adapted fast because it was technology they’ve been using, they just took it to another level. I’m actually wondering to myself if they could both work as interns for me this summer.
Kidding!! Sort of….
- Last but certainly not least…despite all of this success, It’s still not the same. Ugh….Promising myself I will allow the kids to have friends over all summer once we know things are safe. In-person interactions are still really incredibly important.
So here we are, the end of Day 1 and we can all relax into our successful day for a bit. I’m still figuring out what to do with all of my time since I’m not running any kids to and from lacrosse practice. I’ll follow up later this week with more details!