Following the announcement of a return to remote learning for schools across England during what continues to be an unprecedented time, The Department for Education and Ofsted have recently released a short guide on ‘What’s working well in Remote Education.’
This guide recognises the heroic efforts of leaders, teachers, staff and indeed parents in the development and delivery of remote education, and draws on findings from interim visits, research and literature review, to provide some useful tips.
What is remote education?
There are different definitions out there, but these are the ones we will use here:
- Remote education: a broad term encompassing any learning that happens outside of the classroom, with the teacher not present in the same location as the pupils.
- Digital remote education: often known as online learning, this is learning delivered through digital technologies.
- Blended learning: a mix of face-to-face and remote methods. An example would be the ‘flipped classroom’, where main input happens remotely (for example through video), while practice and tutoring happen in class.
- Synchronous education: this is live; asynchronous education is when the material is prepared by the teacher and accessed by the pupil at a later date.
Some common myths
Some unhelpful myths exist about remote education, which are not based on evidence.
These include that:
- it is fundamentally different to other forms of teaching/learning
- it is a different curriculum/offer to the content that would be delivered normally
- the best forms of remote learning are digital
- the best way to deliver remote learning is always through live lessons
- the most important thing is pupils’ engagement
None of these things are necessarily true. Below, we counter them with evidence-based pointers.
Here are 7 things to think about when providing remote education. Note that they are not in order of importance.
- Remote learning is a means, not an end
- Keep it simple
- Focus on the basics
- Feedback and assessment are essential
- The medium matters, especially in digital education
- Live lessons aren’t always best
- Communicating and working with parents can help keep students engaged
Whilst there will never be a perfect fit or “one size fits all” model for remote learning for traditional schools, at Sophia High School we are delighted to be able to offer our students and families exceptional online educational provision, which aims to ensure high quality learning outcomes and enjoyment for all our students.
This is Education Reimagined.