There are still many things that remain unknown about the upcoming school year. While it can be super scary and frustrating to lack so many answers, there are several things that we do know...
Simply, knowing these things provides enough clarity to move from the reactive state that we have been in to a proactive state as we begin to prepare for and think through what learning will look like moving forward.
In order for any of these things to become a reality, there will need to be a fundamental shift in the way that many see learning. Rather than asking, "How will I teach?", we should be asking "How will they learn?". Hear me out...I'm not suggesting that there isn't a place for direct teaching or that direct teaching isn't effective. I'm simply suggesting that moving forward, direct teaching will only be a small piece to the learning puzzle. It will be imperative to design experiences in which learning happens through exploration and application.
Let's be honest...asking teachers to design separate experiences for in-class AND at-home learners is not realistic or sustainable. Instead, we have to work toward designing experiences that will be meaningful REGARDLESS of where the learning happens. I believe that there are three pieces that must in place in order for an experience to leave an impression.
These have always made so much sense to me and make even more sense as we consider designing asynchronous experiences for our learners. While I am a huge fan of the idea of designing cross-curricular, weekly experiences, many will be expected to design daily experiences within their content area. The wonderful thing about this framework is that it works either way. Whatever we decide to do, consistency will be important. Using the DMLE (Designing a Meaningful Learning Experience) Framework provides that consistency in a way that will engage and empower our learners as they begin to take ownership. Below is a picture of the entire framework that I've created for educators to use as they intentionally design experiences that will be meaningful for every learner regardless of where the learning happens.
2. Create consistent and predictable expectations for each day. Below is an example of how I set up one day in my Google Classroom using the same framework as the template above. Each day would have the same key pieces and expectations as far as completion and engagement goes.
3. Be sure to include any mini-lessons or learning materials that students may need to access throughout the experience as Materials. This might even include images of anchor charts that are in the classroom, short, recorded mini-lessons from the teacher, or additional videos/images that will support the learning
4. Assign the Enrichment piece of the experience to learners that are ready to dive deeper and the Encouragement piece to those that need extra support. This gives you the opportunity to be proactive and intentional in regards to differentiation.
4. Provide the opportunity for learners to self-assess and reflect on the learning in as a formative assessment.
5. Store videos, resources, digital anchor charts, and more in the Class Folder as well so that learners can access with ease and use on-demand.
In addition to the learning experience being provided in Google Classroom, it will be important to provide support through student conferences, office hours, and small group collaboration opportunities. If you've designed the experience in a way that gives learners the freedom to access the content and work through the learning, you will have more time to make these connections and provide the support that is needed for real learning to happen.
This is just one idea and there are so many ways to make this a reality regardless of what LMS you are expected to use. I have had several people ask me how I would set up the DMLE Framework within Google Classroom, so I thought I would write the post and just put the idea out there.
None of us know exactly what lies ahead and how this entire experience will impact education. We do know that this is a mess...it's up to us to make it meaningful! I hope this helps in some small way.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about the DMLE template, please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One more thing...I recently created a Digital Planner to help educators as they think through what it might look like to intentionally design meaningful learning experiences for their learners. Check it out and get your FREE copy by visiting andimcnair.com/planner.