When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, many educators learned very quickly that online learning takes work.

In the spring, teachers and administrators had to take on the near-impossible task of moving all their classes and interactions online with no warning. Fall brought its own uncertainties, as districts around the country struggled to reconcile the need to look out for students’ health and safety with the difficulties of managing remote instruction. And this winter, as a challenging semester wears on and the pandemic continues to surge, it seems increasingly likely that some online learning will be unavoidable for the foreseeable future.

It’s crazy to expect that with all their other challenges and responsibilities, teachers will be able to suddenly master online instruction in the midst of an incredibly volatile year.

At this point, it’s well-known that online learning means more than simply teaching face-to-face lesson plans over Zoom. In many ways, it’s a totally different type of pedagogy, one that requires the sort of training and support that are hard to come by in times of crisis like this one.

Fortunately, teachers are not alone. At schools like mine, which pioneered the practices and pedagogies of distance learning long before the pandemic began, we’ve come to understand what it takes to make remote education work. Here are five tips for teachers looking to navigate the online learning landscape this spring.

  1. Differentiation is key
  2. Make everything formative
  3. Data is your friend.
  4. Outreach matters
  5. Community equals confidence

Read the full article about remote learning lessons by Megan Bowen at The 74.