Stop reinventing the wheel: A curation-centered lesson plan for digital learning

If you’re like me, you’re finding that planning for digital learning during the Coronavirus Pandemic takes up a LOT of time. Between planning for instruction, creating new resources, giving feedback, checking in on student socioemotional health, trying to contact students who have yet to access learning opportunities, and getting on office hours calls, the new normal is far more time-intensive than what we’re used to.

I don’t need to tell you that the “normal” way of planning won’t work. We’ve been experiencing it together over the last few weeks.

There is no better time than now to assert that one of our primary roles as educators is to serve as curators of information for our students. This is not new – in the age of hyper-connectivity, being facilitators in our physical classrooms should mean curating existing resources from all over the world to support our students experiencing well-rounded, multi-faceted education.

The difference is that now, curation is not an option. In fact, it is the only way to maintain your sanity while offering robust learning experiences for your students.

You do not need to be the only person “teaching” your students concepts in order for them to learn. In fact, we do our students a great disservice by not pulling in existing resources to help support learning.

I am giving you permission to stop creating every resource your students need. It is incredibly time consuming – writing scripts, filming videos, uploading them to YouTube, linking them… and it’s not always effective.

Here, I’ve linked the digital lesson planning document I’ve been using to plan a week of learning for my students. It’s standards-aligned and objective focused, has differentiation of process and product built in, and helps you to maximize your time by focusing on only creating resources that don’t already exist.

This way of planning focuses on developing a structure for asynchronous learning, recognizing that synchronous learning is a) not the same as in class instruction and b) in many cases, inequitable in that not every student has the same ability to log on and be fully present in that learning experience. In our district, we instead utilize open office hour times that teachers are on Zoom calls to provide live support to students as they work through modules at their own pace.

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week, I’ll release a series of blog posts and videos walking you through how I work through this document to plan for digital learning in a way that maximizes my time and student learning.

I can’t wait to share how to use this tool with you! In the meantime, take a few moments to click around the document and linked templates on your own. See you back here on Monday for part 1.

Published by Jen

A political science major turned computer science teacher, I am passionate about inspiring a love for learning through authentic, real world experiences. I blog about education: ways we can help students succeed, how to innovate within the classroom, and my own quest to never stop learning.

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