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Engage Young Distance Learners With K-2 Read Aloud Videos by EL Education

Engage Young Distance Learners With K-2 Read Aloud Videos by EL Education

This week, we are excited to announce that Read Aloud Videos are now available within Kiddom as a supplement to the K-2 EL Education curriculum. Each video is aligned to its associated unit for easy access.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Engaging Young Distance Learners
  • About the K-2 Read Aloud Videos by EL Education
  • What K-2 Read Aloud Videos Are Available?
  • Where to Find Your K-2 Read Aloud Videos in Kiddom

We’ve heard from many that distance learning is proving to be especially challenging for our youngest learners, so today we want to talk about some handy new features within Kiddom that can help bring your EL Education curriculum to life, even at a distance.

 

Zoom Out: What is EL Education?

Last year, Kiddom partnered with the curriculum publisher Open Up Resources to offer top-rated digital curriculum. EL Education is the creator behind one such top-rated curricula now available through the partnership.

This year, EL Education created a series of K-2 Read Aloud Videos in effort to help teachers engage young distance learners who are using their curriculum. You can read more about EL Education in last week’s post on another supplemental feature to the EL Education curriculum. 

Engaging Young Distance Learners

Kiddom features many ways to keep younger learners engaged through blended, hybrid, or distance learning. In fact, we’ll be releasing a guide next week to cover them all. But here we’ll cover a few helpful tips to apply within context of the K-2 EL Education curriculum.

1. Audio Response. For young learners practicing sounds, you can pair a letter or word visual with an Audio Response activity, which will ask students to record audio for their answers. One music teacher on Twitter recently shared how he used Kiddom in his music class and loved hearing his students sing verses:

2. Multiple Choice with Visuals. For students who are learning their letters or learning how to count, teachers can create a Multiple Choice with Visuals activity. For this sort of activity, you can easily set up autograding so that students’ reports are updated as soon as they complete their work. Or, if you’d rather not create the activities yourself, read on to learn about embedding activities from your favorite provider!

3. Streamline the Experience. Kiddom allows teachers to embed media within assignments so students and parents don’t have to suffer from Too-Many-Tabs fatigue.

If you are using supplemental content that provides an embed code (YouTube, NearPod, etc.), you can enter that code into Kiddom for a streamlined experience for those accessing from their desktop:

4. New! K-2 Read Aloud Videos. And finally, a new way to engage young learners is through the new K-2 Read Aloud Videos, which you will find at the end of each Unit within your EL Education curriculum in Kiddom.

Students can follow along with the narrator by following the highlighted lines as they are being read.

About the K-2 Read Aloud Videos

Young learners can struggle with reading content during at-home lessons. As developing reading skills are often a key objective, the ability to read lessons should not stand in the way of learning lessons.

EL Education created this series of Read Aloud Videos to support K-2 teachers who are teaching remotely due to COVID-19. These videos were specifically created for Modules 1-3 of the Flex Curriculum, which can be directly translated to the non-flex version of the curriculum.

These key readings recorded in a natural human voice with a follow-along marker highlighting the line being read are available directly within Kiddom for teachers to assign – no finding, recording, uploading, or tweaking needed; teachers can simply assign the reading.

Which Read Aloud Videos are Available?

The following titles are available within the Unit level. You can access the video attached near the end of each designated Unit:

TitleGrade, Mod, Lessons
Have Fun Molly Lou MelonPenguin Random House title – not available in Kiddom
Lama Lama Time to SharePenguin Random House title – not available in Kiddom
Off to Class 
  • Grade 2, Module 1, Unit 2
  • Grade 2, Module 1, Unit 3
One Hot Summer Day
  • Grade K, Module 2, Unit 2
Stone Girl Bone Girl 
  • Grade 2, Module 2, Unit 1
Summer Sun Risin’ 
  • Grade 1, Module 2, Unit 1
The Important Book
  • Grade 2, Module 1, Unit 3
The Invisible BoyPenguin Random House title – not available in Kiddom
The Little Red Pen
  • Grade 1, Module 1, Unit 2
The Most Magnificent Thing
  • Grade 1, Module 1, Unit 2
  • Grade 1, Module 1, Unit 3
Tools
  • Grade 1, Module 1, Unit 1
Toys Galore
  • Grade K, Module 1, Unit 2
Weather Words and What they Mean
  • Grade K, Module 2, Unit 1
What Makes Day and Night
  • Grade 1, Module 2, Unit 2

Where to Find the Read Aloud Videos in Kiddom

The K-2 Read Aloud Videos are in the Unit level of your curriculum within Kiddom. As a reminder, the curriculum hierarchy in Kiddom is as follows:

Grades > Modules > Units > Lessons

The Read Aloud Videos will be located in a section near the very end of the Unit – as a reminder, not every Unit comes with a Read Aloud Video. The list above covers the Units that do, so we recommend checking the list for your Unit as Step One. If you are in a Unit that comes with the video, scroll to the bottom of the Unit, and you will see the Read Aloud Video in its own section, like so:

From there, you can assign to the entire class, a student group, a mastery group, or select students, after adding your own instruction and/or additional activities around the assignment, like so: 

And that’s it for this edition of Kiddom’s New Teacher Features! We hope you’re just as excited about these videos as we are to share them with you. If you’re interested in bringing Kiddom to your school or district, you can request a demo by clicking the big red button below.

Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.

For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in one platform with integrated tools for communication.

 

Thinking about bringing Kiddom to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

Keep Reading…

Supplemental ModEL Detroit Slides for EL Education K-8 Curriculum

Supplemental ModEL Detroit Slides for EL Education K-8 Curriculum

This week, we are excited to announce that the ModEL Detroit Slides are now available within Kiddom as a supplement to the EL Education curriculum. Each presentation is aligned to its associated lesson for easy access.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What is EL Education, What Curriculum is Available in Kiddom, & What That Means
  • About the ModEL Slides Supplement by Detroit Public Schools
  • What the ModEL Detroit Slides Were Designed to Do
  • Where to Find Your EL Education Slides in Kiddom

To kick it off, we’ll start from the beginning – if you’re already using the EL Education digital curriculum in Kiddom, feel free to skip to the next section to get straight into the Model Detroit slides!

What is EL Education, What Curriculum is Available on Kiddom, & What That Means

Last year, Kiddom partnered with the curriculum publisher Open Up Resources to offer top-rated digital curriculum (read more here). EL Education is the creator behind one such top-rated curricula now available through the partnership.

The EL Education curriculum K-8, while allegedly challenging to adopt, works for its schools, in a way that only a PD(Professional Development)-packed, discourse-driven, student-centric curriculum can. Not only do they have a reputation for closing the gap effectively for the schools in their community, they also received a near-perfect score by EdReports.

And now, EL Education K-8 is digitally accessible on the Kiddom platform, so you can take it with you wherever you go – but it’s much more than being portable.

Recently, at EL Education’s virtual conference What Matters Most, Dr. Amy Whitener, who teaches at Ootlewah Elementary, shared how Kiddom has transformed the way her school uses EL Education curriculum. The pairing has enabled:

1) Greater Collaboration – “Kiddom has made collaboration a huge time saver. There are no books to carry around, there’s no trying to connect across multiple books, we can plan whether people are in-person or virtual,” says Dr. Whitener.

2) Flexibility – “The lesson plans can be modified, reused, and accessed by everyone. So if there are any changes that need to be made, it’s so easy to share with them right there. We’re just always on the same page using Kiddom.”

3) Ease of Use – “It’s not a PDF, it’s all live documents, so if I need to go and change something, I change it. If I make something and my ELA team needs to add more, take away, change. It’s so easy.”

For those familiar with the EL Education curriculum, moving to Kiddom has been similarly well-received, however… one question we come across often is, “Does it come with the ModEL Detroit Slides?”

The much sought-after ModEL slides are especially helpful for teachers and schools in their first year or two of adopting the curriculum.

This week, we are excited to announce that yes, the ModEL Detroit Slides are now available in Kiddom, as a supplement to the EL Education curriculum.

About the ModEL Slides Supplement by Detroit Public Schools

Educators using the EL Education curriculum are often looking for simple visuals that can be used in class. The ModEL slides, developed by Detroit Public Schools, were created in response to this need.

Additionally, this year the DPSCD has modified the slides for effective pandemic era use. “They made it travel home beautifully, which is not what it was designed to do. So that took considerable ingenuity and plain hard work,” says Meredith Liben, Senior Fellow at Student Achievement Partners.

It’s important to note that the K-5 slides support the latest version of EL Education curriculum (2019), but the 6-8 slides support the original version. The newest version of EL Education (2019) is the curriculum available in Kiddom, so while the 6-8 supplements can still be used as guidance, they are not a direct resource for the latest version used.

As another reminder, these materials have not been sanctioned by or created by EL Education – they were created as supplements, and are labelled as such within Kiddom.

What the ModEL Detroit Slides Were Designed to Do

  • Support teachers in getting a handle on how to teach the core elements of EL Education for teachers or systems first learning how to use it. The slides arguably have utility through at least the first two years of implementation.
  • Provide clear guidance about What Matters Most in each ELA lesson K-8 of EL Education (remember: what was made for grades 6-8 was for EL 1.0/Willey. EL Education has now launched EL 2.0).
  • Provide clear guidance about What Matters Most in each Skills lesson K-2 of EL Education.
  • Help teachers understand how to prepare for teaching each lesson (the pre-slides before the student-facing slides).
  • Provide student-friendly, developmentally appropriate guidance directly to students as they are first learning EL Education.
  • Where EL Education offers a sometimes bewildering array of options to choose amongst (for example, with the English learner supports), offer an experienced user’s point of view on which supports or approaches align best to that particular lesson (i.e. a reduced amount of choices teachers have to sift through daily).
  • Allow for new-to-program teachers to ramp up fairly quickly to a new program.
  • Allow for continuation of student learning when a substitute is present. 

And now, they’re loaded into Kiddom in alignment with the curriculum. They are currently included as attached presentations which teachers can use during virtual calls with students.

Where to Find the Supplemental ModEL Detroit Slides in Kiddom

The ModEL Detroit Slides are in the Lesson level of your curriculum within Kiddom, where you will most likely be planning your daily lessons. As a reminder, the curriculum hierarchy in Kiddom is as follows:

Grades > Modules > Units > Lessons

When you’re in the lesson you are planning, simply scroll down until you see the slides in the Supplemental Materials section, like so:

From there, you can download the slides for use in a live session, or embed directly into Kiddom if you’d like your students to follow along from their Kiddom home screen.

We hope you’re just as excited about these new ModEL Detroit Slides as we are to share them with you. If you’re interested in bringing Kiddom to your school or district, you can request a demo by clicking the big red button below.

Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.

For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in one platform with integrated tools for communication.

 

Thinking about bringing Kiddom to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

Keep Reading…

Student Groups for Blended, Hybrid, and Distance Learning

Student Groups for Blended, Hybrid, and Distance Learning

This week, we are excited to announce a simple new way to do student groups for blended, hybrid, or distance Learning. Read on to learn about this exciting new feature in Kiddom for Schools & Districts.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • 5 Solutions for Student Groups in Any Learning Environment
  • Student Group Chat
  • Kiddom Live Student Group
  • Coming Soon for Student Groups

Student Groups in Any Learning Environment

There is a lot of information out there about how to do student groups for blended learning, station rotation groups in socially distanced classrooms, as well as remote learning student groups.

But what we want to show you today is how to do student groups in a way that transcends to any environment – this new feature will be especially helpful for hybrid classrooms or those experiencing a lot of students going in and out of quarantine, which can make it hard for both, students, and teachers, to keep track.

“Kiddom has been a game changer for us. It’s such an easy transition from face-to-face to virtual without any content loss. There is minimal to no loss, because teachers and students are accessing the same material from the same place, without confusion. If school were to shut down tomorrow, we’re ready. We could all pick up our computers and say “We’re logging into Kiddom, and we’ll be fine.””
– Dr. Amy Whitener, 5th grade literacy teacher, Ooltewah Elementary 

Dr. Amy Whitener spoke at the What Matters Most: EL Education Virtual Summit last week when she shared how her school is using Kiddom for both, in person and distance learning students.

Dr. Whitener’s district (Hamilton County, TN) is using EL Education digital curriculum by Open Up Resources on the Kiddom for Schools & Districts platform. Because EL Education curriculum is very discourse-driven, it is important to have the ability to do student breakout groups, which can be challenging in the current pandemic.

But because teachers in her district are accessing their EL Education curriculum, building lessons and assignments, and communicating with students through the flexible Kiddom platform, they are able to overcome many challenges posed by the pandemic.

 

Five Solutions for Student Groups in Any Environment

When students access their expected assignments from home, or in school, they always see the same assignments from their Kiddom Timeline. Teachers can create assignments for student groups, whether at random, or by mastery level on a particular skill, which can all be accessed in the platform.

When a quarantined student needs to work from home, their teacher can simply edit the assignment for that one student, adjusting any in-class instruction for a home setting – for example, they might change “Read the excerpt aloud with a partner” to “Read the excerpt to yourself” – so there is little to no content loss or confusion for that student about what to do.

When a socially-distanced classroom needs to break out into student groups for some station rotation at a safe distance, students can log into Kiddom to see who else is in their group, and they can communicate through chat without leaving their desks, if needed.

If one student from an in-class student group is working from home, all is not lost! The student group activity can carry on as usual, and partners in the group will still be able to communicate with them in real time.

If you are wondering how to do student groups for full-remote classrooms, Kiddom’s new distance learning tools give you many options to do so. Read on to learn about the features in detail.

1) Student Group Chat

Teachers using Kiddom for Schools and Districts can now create a student group chat by selecting students from the roster. Within a student group chat, the teacher and students will be able to hold discourse-driven discussions, share attachments, and even record audio and video directly from the platform.

2) Kiddom Live Student Groups

Teachers using the Kiddom Live upgrade will be able to start a virtual call with student groups at the click of a button. Students will be notified once a call has started and can easily join from their home screens.

3) Coming Soon for Student Groups

Currently, teachers can create assignments for student groups from all plans, the paid plan or the free app, by assigning work by mastery level group, or by selecting students’ names when creating an assignment.

However, coming soon there will be an option for those using Kiddom for Schools and Districts to assign by the custom student group they created. They will also be able to customize the names of each student group.

There you have it!

We hope you’re just as excited about these student group features as we are to share it with you. If you’re interested in bringing Kiddom to your school or district, you can request a demo by clicking the big red button below.

Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.

For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in one platform with integrated tools for communication.

 

Thinking about bringing Kiddom to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

Keep Reading…

Teach Civic Responsibility With These Voting Resources for Students of All Ages

Teach Civic Responsibility With These Voting Resources for Students of All Ages

In one of the most crucial election seasons in recent history, teachers have expressed a need for quality resources to bring culturally-relevant lessons to young voters and voters-to-be. This week, we bring you just that, including a high school voter registration kit which we’ve partnered with HeadCount to create.

It’s hard not to address politics in the classroom when you’re in the final month of one of the most heated presidential elections this country has faced in recent history.

Which is why many teachers are opting, in the spirit of culturally relevant pedagogy, to teach students about their civic responsibilities, and how to vote locally during a time when the election is practically buzzing around our ears.

Keep reading to find fun and engaging prompts, thought-provoking playlists that can be used for blended or distance learning, and general election resources for students of every age.

 

Voting Registration Resources for High School Students

If your students are old enough to vote – or getting close, it’s essential to teach them the things they need to vote responsibly.

A good place to start is by understanding why many young people don’t vote – according to John Holbein, researcher and author of the book “Making Young Voters: Converting Civic Attitudes into Civic Action,” the low turnout of younger voters has more to do with a lack of skills and confidence, than a lackadaisical attitude towards politics.

“For young people, it’s just intimidating and kind of scary, especially for many of them growing up in households that don’t talk about politics and don’t hear about contemporary politics in their schools very much. The idea of being plunged into the deep end of voting was kind of intimidating,” says Hobstein (EdWeek).

Luckily, organizations like HeadCount exist to gather all of the resources, deadlines, and planning tools to help students grasp a better understanding of how to vote. Which is why we partnered with them this year to create a High School Registration Digital Kit to equip teachers within the Kiddom community (and beyond!) with a helpful toolkit.

Find the High School Voter Registration Kit below, and keep reading for more resources to teach students of all ages all about voting.

Voting Playlists for K-12th Grade Students 

(Handy for Remote Learning)

If your students aren’t old enough to vote yet, it’s never too early to start teaching civic responsibility! Here are a number of playlists to instill an early understanding of the voting process, and to inspire young people to make their voices heard.

What are “playlists”? Useful for either blended or distance learning, Kiddom’s “playlists” are themed collections of mixed media resources curated around a particular subject. You can find all of the resources in the following playlists within the Kiddom content library, as well as over 70,000 teaching resources searchable by standard, grade, subject, publisher, or content type.

Teachers can use the free Kiddom Classroom app to assign a handful of resources from these playlists to students to complete at their own pace, or simply keep the playlists in your Planner for future lesson planning.

Additional Voting Resources for K-12th Grade Students

Here are a number of external resources to instill an early understanding of the voting process, and to inspire young people to make their voices heard.

To teachers and parents who have become home-school teachers due to the pandemic:

The work you’re doing right now is so important. We want to thank you for your perseverance during during such a difficult time. Did we miss any great voting resources you’ve come across? Have any great tips for how to teach voting and democracy from home? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add them to the article.

As always, happy teaching and learning!

Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.

For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in a centralized hub. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, and teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.

 

Are you thinking about bringing digital curriculum to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

Keep Reading…

Building Continuity of Learning in Any Scenario: The Kiddom Back to School 2020 Guide

Building Continuity of Learning in Any Scenario: The Kiddom Back to School 2020 Guide

With this guide, we hope to bring some inspiration during an unprecedented back-to-school season. Hear how various educators are building creative strategies and using Kiddom to prepare for distance learning, hybrid, or in-person blended learning. Get your free copy of the guide below.

There’s never been a back-to-school season quite like 2020. While some are still waiting to hear orders from their district, others are already wading into the brave new territory of hybrid schedules, socially-distanced K-12 students wearing masks, or full-time distance learning with high hopes that all goes smoother than last spring.

We created this resource to provide guidance to educators who are new to online instruction or trying to improve their practice in preparation for the year’s uncertainties. What you’ll find:

Advice from Field Educators. As so much of this is uncharted territory, we wanted to collect guidance from real educators who are doing the work and have direct experience to share. Hear from an assistant principal whose city charter school (full-remote learning) is getting creative to build an engaged online support community. Learn how an instructional coach at a traditional district (hybrid learning) set up a scenario-proof curriculum and lesson plans for continuity of teaching and learning in any scenario. And read an essay authored by an engagement director at an adult high school (mostly remote learning) on how to continue Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and instructional coaching during distance learning.

Two Step-by-Step Guides. View the step-by-step processes for how an instructional coach built her scenario-proof curriculum and interactive lesson plans within Kiddom, as well as some helpful features to engage students remotely and streamline tools to alleviate teacher/parent fatigue. Note: All features mentioned in these guides are available in the free Kiddom app for teachers and students.

Tips & Encouragement. Above all else, this guide aims to help educators everywhere rebuild confidence in a brave new era. We know you’re great at what you do, and you can adapt to this new format! We hope you’ll find new ways to bring continuity of learning to your community through with the help of the free tools and tips found in this resource.

You can get your copy of the guide here: 

Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.

For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in a centralized hub. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, and teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.

 

Are you thinking about bringing digital curriculum to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

Keep Reading…

Kiddom & Google: Better Together

Kiddom & Google: Better Together

Recently, we’ve had a lot of questions about how Kiddom can work with Google Classroom or G Suite (Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc.). In this blog, we’ll explore some of the many ways Kiddom and Google are better… together!

Some schools and districts mandate that their teachers use Google Classroom, and teachers often come to us at Kiddom for advice on how to use both tools together. Using this support article, you can start by giving a new class an introduction to Kiddom and how they can access it.

4 Ways to Use Kiddom with G Suite or Google Classroom

Digitize Your Curriculum

Google Drive is a place where many schools store their digital curriculum today – in fact, when we asked 440 educators how they’re storing their digital curriculum, 90% reported their digital curriculum lives in cloud drives like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, often in PDF format.

However, many schools and districts are realizing – especially in light of recent events – the benefits of having a more visible, collaborative curriculum that connects intended standards to mastery in clear reporting views. That’s where Kiddom comes in.

Through Kiddom’s Google Drive integration, you always have the option to link to as many of the instructional PDFs and documents you wish to keep stored in Drive. However, the real value-add comes when you use Kiddom to nest your curriculum into easy-to-view, sharable units with interactive lessons and expected standards attached.

You can access curriculum via the Kiddom Education Platform by using our import feature, starting from ready-to-use digital curriculum by Open Up Resources, or build-your-own curriculum (the build-your-own curriculum option is also available via our free app).

Grading & Reporting

Speaking of standards, the real magic of using a truly digital curriculum platform like Kiddom is that these standards, once attached, can follow the curriculum workflow all the way from a curriculum developer’s framework, to editable lesson plans contextualized by teachers across the district, to their students’ interactive coursework (more on this in the Engage Students section below), to assessment, to reporting, which rolls up into real-time views of mastery achievement visible to students, guardians, teachers, and school and district administrators.

With all of these tools in one place, you can imagine the time saved otherwise spent gathering assessment data for report cards and mailing them out to every household.

There’s no replacing the fantastic tools available in G Suite – a great application for Sheets is for student groups collaborating on statistics homework. But when it comes to your grade book, Kiddom can be a great compliment to those tools as the place to house your curriculum, instruction, and assessment data.

Plan Lessons… with Vetted Resources

Many teachers who use Google Classroom are quick to mention the impressive and vast library of resources. However, when they are looking for one specific type of lesson to develop for one specific skill, Kiddom’s content library can be a great option.

Full of over 70,000 vetted resources, you can search the content library by skill, grade, subject, content type, and publisher (useful if your school has a subscription to Newsela, or you are a math teacher whose students love to use Geogebra). 

Teachers always have free access to the Kiddom content library (it should be mentioned that though most are, not all resources in our library are free – this is ultimately up to the publisher). Those using Google Classroom can embed links to the Kiddom Content Library when creating assignments in the Classwork tab, and do their grading either within Google Classroom or Kiddom.

If using Kiddom, you can access this Content Library directly from the mastery reporting views for a specific skill, which will allow you to send support and/or enrichment to individuals or student groups by mastery level. As always, you can attach links to any type of Google Drive file when creating a Kiddom assignment.

Engage Students with More Options

Kiddom now gives teachers and students the option to record audio and video without leaving the platform (this is one of many free distance learning tools Kiddom launched in response to the pandemic). They can also upload a file directly from Google Drive, if they have a particular image or document they would like to attach to complete their work.

And that covers it for this installment of why Kiddom and Google are Better Together. Do you use Kiddom and Google Classroom (or Drive) together? Let us know if we missed any great applications in the comments below and we’ll add it to the list!

Happy teaching and learning!

 

Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.

For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in a centralized hub. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, and teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.

 

Are you thinking about bringing digital curriculum to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

Keep Reading…

Engage Online Students With Kiddom’s New Distance Learning Tools

Engage Online Students With Kiddom’s New Distance Learning Tools

This week, we are excited to announce a new, easier-than-ever way for teachers to keep distance learning students engaged – without ever having to leave their classroom platform.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Connecting With Online Students: The Old Way vs. The New Way
  • At-Your-Own-Pace Distance Learning Tools (Free in Kiddom Classroom)
  • Face-to-face Distance Learning Tools: (Upgrade to Kiddom Live)

Connecting With Online Students

There is no question about it, distance learning is hard. 

Thanks to COVID-19, most educators are all-too familiar with what it takes to get a remote class up and running, and the general consensus has been: 

A) distance learning takes a lot of time, patience, and tools to set up, and 

B) even then, it’s really difficult to keep online students engaged. 

So we made it our mission to make things easier in the form of less tools, more connection. Let’s take a look at what that looks like.

The Old Way to Do Distance Learning

In order to create moments of genuine connection online, most teachers have opted for a healthy mix of at-your-own-pace and face-to-face (see also: asynchronous and synchronous) activities, but this takes a lot of “distance learning” tools. 

For at-your-own-pace activities, teachers have been pre-recording videos with one tool, making screenshares with another tool (to show students how to use a content tool like, say, Geogebra), then uploading all of these items to a learning management tool where students can view and then complete their assignments, which might take – you guessed it, yet another tool.

For face-to-face activities, teachers and distance learners might use a meeting tool like Zoom, or Google Hangouts. But they still have to use a separate tool to communicate meeting times with students, and yet another to assign and review assignments, and did we mention lesson planning and curriculum – wouldn’t it be nice if all of these were in the same place?

The New Way to Do Distance Learning

With our new release, you can do all of these things in one platform.

It’s that simple.

To see the new distance learning tools in action, check out this recent webinar recap, or keep reading to learn which tools are free and which come with our product for schools and districts.

At-Your-Own-Pace Distance Learning Tools (Free in Kiddom Classroom)

If you use Kiddom Classroom, you already know you can build and edit curriculum (which helps when an in-class lesson plan needs to be changed last-minute to a remote lesson), assign lessons, students can complete assignments, you can grade them, and both students and teachers can review standards-based or grade-based reporting, all from the free platform. 

But let’s take a look at some of the new features you can access for free too.

1) Classrooms now have an announcement feed where teachers can record and share videos and audio, directly in the platform.

2) Teachers and students can now record videos and audio when chatting, assigning or completing work, or making comments around assignments.

3) A new easy-to-access student roster allows teachers to communicate with individual students and student groups, via chat or with new recording tools.

Face-to-face Distance Learning Tools: (Upgrade to Kiddom Live)

If you use Kiddom for Schools and Districts, you can now choose to upgrade to Kiddom Live and access our synchronous distance learning tools as well. This means you can:

1) Host smaller student groups via Kiddom live for a more manageable experience full of classmate interaction.

2) Chat in real-time with 1:1 video capabilities; simply start a call directly from your student roster.

3) Attend a virtual real-time class from the announcement feed, and be notified when a session has started.

There you have it!

We hope you’re just as excited about this release as we are to share it with you.

To see the new distance learning tools for yourself, you can download our free Classroom app here. And if you’re interested in bringing Kiddom Live to your school or district, request a demo by clicking the big red button below.

Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.

For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in one platform with integrated tools for communication.

 

Thinking about bringing Kiddom to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

Keep Reading…

New Report: The K-12 Transition to Digital Curriculum 2020

New Report: The K-12 Transition to Digital Curriculum 2020

Seeking to better understand the K-12 transition to digital curriculum, we surveyed 447 educators across diverse communities. Get your copy of the report here.

Where are K-12 educators in their transition to digital curriculum, and what challenges do they face?

This guiding question drove a study we held this past winter break, when 447 educators came forward to share their experiences to help us find answers. Over the next few months we compiled and cross-referenced the responses to paint a clear picture where three themes emerged in the form of challenges.

Before we could publish the results, an event we’re all familiar with – COVID-19 – changed everything, exacerbating these challenges for educators to a point we couldn’t have predicted. For a time, we abandoned the report entirely in order to pivot to distance learning, which the majority of our community was setting up for the first time.

This week we finalized the report, and though a lot has changed since this study was conducted, we still find these learnings to be helpful, and we hope to close the gap by conducting another survey this fall.

You can get your copy of the report here, or keep reading for the highlights. 

Report Highlights: Three Educator Challenges

Challenge 1: Lack of Alignment

A disconnect in opinions surfaced in our study around curricular topics like quality, implementation, and measuring efficacy (more on this in the third challenge below). While it was expected that opinions would contrast across different community-based responses, the role-based responses highlighted some interesting trends across the board.

Exhibit A. Differing Opinions Around Curriculum Quality

Teachers in our survey ranked their school’s curriculum the lowest at an average of 6.33, and principals rated their curriculum 15% higher at 7.27. It is noteworthy that those working with the curriculum on a daily basis (teachers, curriculum roles) have lower opinions on the curriculum than roles who work with it less often.

How Different Roles Rate Their Curriculum

N = 412: for this graph, we only included responses from the five top role categories.

Exhibit B. Differing Opinions Around Curriculum Implementation

Educators generally do feel their curriculum is being implemented in the classroom with fidelity, though far fewer administrators report low fidelity compared to teachers. One in three teachers reported that most teachers rely heavily on other resources, compared to one in five school leaders. While 59% of school leaders do admit to some usage of external resources, it is clear that there is a disparity in opinions around how often.

What do we mean by “fidelity”? When teachers need to find their own resources often, it could be said that they are following the curriculum with lower fidelity. If they are using the curriculum exactly as intended, it could be said that they are implementing the curriculum with high fidelity.

Every community is different, and therefore we don’t hold prescriptive views about whether curriculum should be implemented with high or low fidelity. However, we do feel it is helpful for teachers, school leaders, and district leaders to have alignment on their own curriculum fidelity and how their curriculum is implemented. This way, communities can understand what is working best for teachers and students and seamlessly know when to send greater support and enrichment (and praise, when it comes to discovering best teaching practices).

Teachers & School Leaders on Curriculum Fidelity

N = 412: for this graph, we only included responses from the five top role categories.

Opportunity: Creating Greater Connectivity in Your Learning Community

Lack of alignment can be caused by a need for more human connectivity, and it’s easy to see how the pandemic has exacerbated the issue on that front. It also comes from a place of needing better tool connectivity – educators currently use so many tools that don’t speak to each other, and it’s getting in the way of what they do best. This was also intensified by the pandemic, when educators suddenly moved to add many more, newer tools to their toolbox, and data on curriculum implementation and student performance was further fragmented across platforms, creating even more work for our teachers, confusing students, and blindfolding administrators to the effect of a crippling lack of responsive support.

We never like to bring up a challenge without offering a solution, and the entire reason we seek to learn about these issues is to improve our solutions for educators. On the tool proliferation front, we have held a vision from our start of building a platform to connect all educational tools; curriculum, instruction, and assessment in one place, so teachers and administrators aren’t spending countless hours transferring curriculum, lesson plans, and student performance data from one platform to another.

But on the human connectivity front, the pandemic has moved us to improve our platform by integrating better communication (video and chat) along every step of those workflows in order to keep continuity of learning in any environment. You can learn more about our communication tools, which will be released this month, in the webinar recap here.

 

Challenge 2: Need for Dynamic Digital Curriculum

Over 90% surveyed report that they store their digital curricula in static form (e.g. PDFs) on drives & internal networks. But digital curricula should dynamic, meaning it should be fun, engaging, and enable teaching and learning in any environment.

When the pandemic pushed many educators into distance learning, we saw many communities revaluate the way they store, manage, access, and share curriculum. Because of this, we believe a shift has since occurred in the awareness of what having a more dynamic digital curriculum can unlock. We will test this hypothesis in our next survey.

Exhibit A. Accessing Static Curriculum

While accessing PDFs online is a step in the right direction, we do want to stress the importance of changing the awareness of what a true digital curriculum means, and what it can unlock for your school community. (More on this in the “opportunity” section below). Having static curriculum arguably creates more work for your teachers, doesn’t engage students, and won’t connect easily to instruction or assessment data.

Digital Curriculum Storage by Community

N = 447: participants across all role categories included in this graph.

Exhibit B. Static Curriculum and Standards

When choosing curriculum, educators overwhelmingly listed the most important factor to be “standards alignment”. However, if so many store their curriculum on drives rather than on a platform where curriculum standards are automatically attached to lesson plans, assignments, and reporting, this highlights a core issue with static curriculum: there is no easy way to view standard data such as skill mastery, which standards have been covered in class to date, and how well students are engaging with the curriculum meant to develop the intended skills.

Most Important Factors When Choosing Curriculum, by Community

N = 447: participants across all role categories included in this graph.

Opportunity: Understanding What Dynamic Digital Curriculum Can Do for Your Community

This is a great time to help your community reimagine the art of the possible. Dynamic digital curriculum allows you to contextualize for your classroom. Without the ability to edit your PDFs to foster student growth and learning, your curriculum isn’t reaching its full potential to engage students.

In Kiddom, digital curriculum comes to life with the ability to edit it for success in the classroom. Students feel engaged and empowered by interactive materials that are crafted with their strengths in mind. Teachers and school leaders also gain key insight into how curriculum is performing, with real-time data on student performance and curricular implementation.

Challenge 3: Low Visibility on Curricular Efficacy or Implementation

While this challenge is connected to the first in many ways, the first challenge is more about misalignment (of humans and tools) costing learning communities time, money, and friction. The underlying problem behind this challenge, however, is that lack of visibility is keeping educators from assessing and improving curriculum quality.

While assessing curriculum quality may seem low on the long list of issues educators face, the issue has grown considerably in importance during the pandemic as digital materials became front and center, highlighting the need for a high-quality, rigid curriculum to serve as a backbone for instruction.

Exhibit A. Most Educators Say Measuring Curriculum Efficacy is a Challenge

Unfortunately, there is no simple or standardized way to assess curriculum efficacy, according to the graph below and in the vast difference in responses we received around how (and how often) curriculum is measured.

Most methodologies in our report could be grouped into four categories: quantitative assessment (reviewing grades or test scores), qualitative assessment (through curriculum discussions or classroom observations), both, or by looking at curriculum-level assessments by reviewing the content itself.

Fortunately, schools and districts using the Kiddom education platform can make 1) quantitative assessments by reviewing real-time skill mastery dashboards, 2) qualitative assessments by observing implementation, and 4) curriculum-level assessments by reviewing the curriculum itself. And they can do so from the office or at home.

Difficulty Measuring Curriculum Efficacy by Role

N = 412: this graph includes responses from the five top role categories.

Exhibit B. Why It’s Important to Measure Efficacy

Those who measure curriculum efficacy rate their curriculum higher than those who do not. While correlation does not equal direct causation, the fact that there was nearly a full point difference between those who do and do not is cause for investigation. As another graph in our report shows, we found that those who measure their curriculum do so often, suggesting they find value in their measurements.

While we don’t take a prescriptive stance on the best methodology behind measuring curriculum efficacy, we do believe in building systems of continuous improvement, and our platform offers multiple ways to assess curriculum implementation and student performance in real-time.

Relationship Between Measuring and Rating Curriculum

N = 447: participants across all role categories included in this graph.

Opportunity: Start from Quality Digital Curriculum & Connect it to Instruction and Assessment Data

The first step is starting with great curriculum. We recommend reviewing curricula rated by EdReports to discover a rigid, high-quality curriculum that works best for your community. We have partnered with one of the top-rated curriculum providers on EdReports, Open Up Resources, to offer educators a high-quality ready-to-use solution on our platform.

The other half of the equation is about connecting that digital curriculum to instruction and assessment data to create a system of continuous improvement. Schools and districts using our solution are able to ship their teachers ready-to-use high-quality digital curriculum.

Their teachers then have flexibility to contextualize and edit the curriculum easily to adjust lesson plans for in-person or distance learning, which helps during this time of uncertainty.

And lastly, school and district leaders and co-teachers have the core elements of assessing visibility of how the curriculum is being implemented and adjusted, as well as views of student performance of the curriculum’s intended skills.   

Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.

For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in a centralized hub. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, and teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.

 

Are you thinking about bringing digital curriculum to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

Keep Reading…

How Can Educators Deliver Equity in a Digital Environment? (Webinar Recap)

How Can Educators Deliver Equity in a Digital Environment? (Webinar Recap)

Learn an equity framework to help you deliver quality to all learners, within a digital environment or a broader context, then explore some features in the Kiddom + Open Up Resources distance learning bundle that can help you implement equitable practices in your digital or blended classroom. You can view more webinars in this series here.

A few weeks back, we had two special guests speak on a topic that has since become forefront to the nation’s attention: equity.

Joining us to lead the discussion were Traci Davis, who is an educational equity consultant (Open Up Resources) and former superintendent, and Jennifer Wolfe, an education advisor (Kiddom) and early advocate of open education resources.

As part of this ongoing distance learning webinar series, the focus of our discussion was equity within the context of remote learning. However, you’ll find a lot of helpful learnings here that apply to a broader context, particularly in the equity framework Traci shared.

These insights feel very relevant to the conversations happening in school communities nationally, as many educators are reflecting on their practices and asking themselves what they can do to combat systemic racism.

 

The Highlights: Delivering Equity in a Digital Environment 

Songs for Equity

Kicking it off with an interactive question, Traci Davis asked attendees: 

What song would you use to describe equity in your classroom and/or district and why?

For Traci, some days it’s “We are Family” (by Sister Sledge) when everything feels like it’s working out, and other days it’s “Y’all Gonna Make Me Lose My Mind” by DMX.

To close the activity, Traci instructed us to think about the song that came to mind, “and what we need to do to change that song, if we don’t like that song. And,” she asked us, “if you do like that song, what can you do to improve on it, as you look at equity, whether in your classroom, district, or in your everyday walk of life?”

Watch the video of this recap here:

What’s in the Kiddom + Open Up Resources distance learning bundle?

The No-Nonsense Distance Learning Guide, with guidance for every educator role

Distance Learning webinar series with weekly Office Hours sessions for live Q&A

Applying an Equity Framework to Distance Learning

 Next, Traci took us through Curtis Linton’s equity framework around culture, practice, and leadership. She then offered some questions to think about within section, as follows:

Culture

Is there a positive culture in the district around equity?
Is that positive culture in your class?

Practice

Are your practices meaningful?

Leadership

Is leadership shared, not just for teachers, but for students?
Do your kids have student voice?

Importantly, Traci shares, “we now have to wrap these questions into a larger circle of what these answers will look like now in a digital environment, when you can no longer see your students face-to-face or understand their moods.”

Next, Traci takes us to the center of this framework, where there are four components. For students to be successful in their learning outcomes, all four of these are needed to be successful:

Rigor
Expectations
Relevance
Relationships

For this section, she ended with another interactive question. “How do you refine or change your practices in a digital environment?” Responses from the audience included:

“Allow students to submit work in different formats.” -Jill
“I use a digital form for students to tell me how they are feeling and how they are doing each day.” -Laura 

Watch the video of this recap here:

Just Remove the Fence

Next Traci brings fresh perspective to an image which many who have been doing equity work may have seen before. But in this version, as she points out, this lens of equity has evolved to become “just remove the fence.” 

From this example, she implores us to ask ourselves, what new barriers will be faced in the digital environment? 

If anything, added Abbas, the pandemic has really put the spotlight on the inequity problem across our education system. To that, he asked Traci how teachers could support each other’s practices right now, or utilize their PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) to ensure that their distance learning programs continue to iterate towards equity.

You can hear her response here:

Five Considerations: Planning With Equity in a Digital Environment

 

Next, Traci gives us five considerations to think about as we reflect on our practices.

HINT: If these look familiar because you saw them in the No-Nonsense Distance Learning Guide, it’s because Traci is the one who helped us with the framework for this section!

As she took us through this graphic, Traci reminded us that it might not be a brick-and-mortar situation we’re returning to in the fall. How do we ensure quality for every student, whether it’s brick and mortar, a hybrid, or a fully digital environment?

One thing is for sure, and that is, the equity conversation matters now more than ever. Traci then posed the questions: Do your students have the resources to be successful? And then, do your teachers have the resources they need to be successful?

“What does the new instructional day look like? There might be one laptop and three kids. How do we look at their scheduling so that every child has an opportunity? And that’s where we really have to work together as a team to address this work around equity in a digital environment.”

Watch the video of this recap here:

Helpful Features to Implement Equitable Practices in Your Digital Journey

After Traci shared these five considerations and some closing words, our next presenter, Jennifer Wolfe, mapped some of those considerations to helpful features within the free Kiddom platform and Open Up Resources curriculum.

We’ve listed three of those features in the clips below, and you can learn about the others in the full playlist here.

1. Top-rated, quality digital curriculum with supports for ELL learners

2. Add recorded instruction for asynchronous remote teaching

3. Ability to contextualize curriculum for all levels of learners

We hope this has helped you start to think about some new angles in your practice that can be improved upon or adjusted for more inclusivity and quality to all learners. As always, thanks for reading, happy teaching and learning, and we hope to see you in our upcoming webinars in our distance learning series!

Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.

For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in a centralized hub. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, and teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.

 

Are you thinking about bringing digital curriculum to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

Keep Reading…

How to Assemble Your Distance Learning Toolkit (Webinar Recap)

How to Assemble Your Distance Learning Toolkit (Webinar Recap)

Learn how one teacher assembled her own distance learning toolkit using Kiddom and Open Up Resources in this webinar recap. For more on the Kiddom + OUR distance learning webinar series, register here.

As all attendees would agree, 7th Grade Math Teacher Melanie Gillingham stole the show in last week’s distance learning webinar with her practical advice, captivatingly positive energy, and anyone-can-do-it attitude.

She showed us the distance learning toolkit she’s built out for her classrooms, and took us through the steps – the fails and the wins – that got her there. All told, she sort of made distance learning look… easy.

However, we know it’s not. In fact, that’s why Kiddom recently partnered up with Open Up Resources to put together a distance learning bundle to help teachers like Melanie jumpstart their toolkit. But more on that later – let’s get to the highlights!

 

The Highlights: Building a Distance Learning Toolkit

The webinar opens with introductions and some context, including what brought Bethel School District to Kiddom + OUR, Bethel (and Melanie’s) response to the pandemic, and why Kiddom + Open Up Resources banded together for this distance learning series.

You can watch these recaps in the playlist here, but we’re going to jump straight into Melanie’s section, which is all about how she assembled her distance learning toolkit. As Melanie saw it, there were going to be 3 stages:

1. How she would set up her class

2. How she would refine her class

3. The day-to-day

1. How Melanie set up her distance learning class

Once Melanie decided on using Kiddom as the platform for her distance learning course, she dove into the tutorials. At first, Melanie shares, she watched a ton of Kiddom’s PD videos. But then about half-way through, like any middle schooler, she felt like she was ready and jumped right in to start playing with the platform.

When she hit a wall, she would go back to the PD videos, but pretty soon, Melanie had learned how to contextualize her curriculum. This included learning how to make her own teaching videos, use her Kiddom Timeline, change point values and due dates in her curriculum’s activities, and most importantly, she learned how to change the types of responses from the built-in curriculum.

Also helpful to her was learning how to use the Kiddom content library to bring in additional vetted resources when needed. She uses this to search for resources by standard, provider (CK-12, Khan Academy, etc.), or activity type.

Once she felt pretty comfortable with the platform and curriculum, she started planning out her first week. At this point she created a few key resources to help her students and their families get set up. You can see a list of the resources she created below, or hear it straight from the source here:

What’s in the Kiddom + Open Up Resources distance learning bundle?

The No-Nonsense Distance Learning Guide, with guidance for every educator role

Distance Learning webinar series with weekly Office Hours sessions for live Q&A

Watch the Full Webinar 
You can see the full playlist of videos from this webinar here.

A few resources Melanie created to help with set up

Before the first few weeks started, Melanie created these resources to help herself and her students transition
to a distance learning course. 

Digitized Lesson Plans

Using Kiddom, she modified her Open Up Resources curriculum for the first few weeks, making adjustments for activities that were originally designed to be in-person, and making notes to herself when needed.

“Get Started” Guide

Using Google Docs, she compiled instructions for her class to get started. Here she added a few instructional videos she created using Zoom, as well as a few screencasts she recorded with Screencastify.

Assignment Timeline

Using Kiddom, she added the activities she had planned to her students’ timeline so they knew what they needed to do by when and could access and complete their assignments or ask questions about them directly in the platform.

Weekly Pacing Guide

Using Google Docs, Melanie created a guide that showed the high-level expectations for each week.

2. How Melanie refined her distance learning class

 Once Melanie and her class took the leap into distance learning, it was immediately clear where adjustments needed to be made. A few early adjustment moments she shared:

1. Noticing where students were getting stuck and getting ahead of those moments by communicating solutions to them early and often. Once she found a few students who were particularly tech-savvy, she assigned them as her guinea pigs AKA tech support. She often asked those students to give her early feedback for anything that was confusing or didn’t work from the student side. She was able to communicate with him directly though Kiddom.

2. To give students face-to-face interaction as well, Melanie also held 1:1 Zoom sessions with the entire class. She noticed early on that some students were a bit on the shyer side and didn’t like speaking up in front of everyone, but those students were able to ask questions privately through Kiddom, which Melanie compared to the ability to walk right next to a student in class and give them individual help.

3. Weekly or Daily assignments? She found that weekly assignments were much more beneficial for students to be able to work at their own pace in this new asynchronous environment.

4. Incorporating videos directly into her activities was really beneficial to her ability to give specific instructions to her students and help them stay connected with her.

5. Grading daily helped so that she was able to keep students’ work up to date.

6. She needed to keep a balance of shorter assignments and more in-depth assignments, so she began using the warm-ups within Open Up Curriculum.

7. She also speaks on how she uses the chat feature often, whether between herself and students, or between her and Kiddom customer success.

Watch the Full Webinar 
You can see the full playlist of videos from this webinar here.

3. What does Melanie’s daily distance learning routine look like?

Next, Melanie takes us through her daily distance learning routine.

She shows us how she uses the Kiddom Timeline and Planner tools on a day-to-day basis, contextualizing the curriculum within Planner, then dragging over to her students’ Timeline, where she can assign activities.

She can assign activities for the entire class, or by mastery level groups, or even individual students. Or she can save them in her Planner for later on when she feels her class is ready for the assignment.

 

Here’s her day-to-day course from the teacher view:

 

Watch the Full Webinar 
You can see the full playlist of videos from this webinar here.

 

…and the same online course from the student view:

Watch the Full Webinar 
You can see the full playlist of videos from this webinar here.

What part of Melanie’s daily toolkit will she take with her into the Fall?

After Melanie’s presentation, a question came up about whether Melanie feels she can take all of this work and set up with her in the future, which looks very uncertain right now.

In her eyes, one of the most helpful parts about this toolkit she has set up is being able to access the Open Up curriculum on a platform, where she has the ability to contextualize the Open Up Resources curriculum quickly for whichever situation she’s given – whether that’s back in the classroom, a last-minute school closure due to a breakout in her district, or more distance learning, which many schools and districts have already announced they plan to continue with this fall.

Another use case she expects will come in handy is the ability to interact with students directly within the questions they’re working on – it’s a great way to give students privacy within the classroom, if they need more help and are too afraid to speak up, but it’s also great for remote learning to be able to give additional context on a specific activity.

Lastly, she expressed that combining the Zoom sessions with the Kiddom Timeline of assignments really helps her students feel connected, which could really help in a new class scenario, should they need to start with virtual classes in the fall.

Watch the Full Webinar 
You can see the full playlist of videos from this webinar here.

Recap: What tools are in Melanie’s distance learning toolkit?

These are the main tools Melanie is using on a daily basis, most of which are completely free.

You can click on the tabs below to see 1) how Melanie is using each tool, 2) a small description about each tool, and 3) a link to any COVID-19 resources they might have available for educators:

Used for: Contextualizing curriculum for distance learning, lesson planning, assigning, communicating with students, and grading. FYI Melanie’s district is piloting Kiddom’s paid platform, but nearly all of the functionality you see in the webinar is possible on Kiddom’s free teacher platform.

About: Kiddom brings curriculum to life by connecting curriculum, instruction, and assessment in one platform. Kiddom for Teachers is always free, but from now until August 2020, you can sign up to access Open Up Resources 6-8 Math Curriculum via Kiddom for free too (This is typically a paid feature available only on Kiddom for Schools & Districts).

Used for: Engaging students with quality

About. If you’re not familiar with Open Up Resources, they offer one of the highest rated curriculum on EdReports. This particular 6-8 math curriculum is free on the free Kiddom teacher platform until August 2020. You can sign up here.

Used for: Melanie records videos of herself giving more context for lessons, and then uploads those videos directly into the assignments on Kiddom.

About: Zoom is one of most widely used and well-known video conferencing tools. Currently, they are removing their 40 minute time limit for all educators affected by COVID-19, making them one of the most popular free solutions for synchronous teaching. Learn more here.

 

Used for: Melanie used this program to record screen casts when she wanted to show students exactly how to navigate through distance learning.

About: Screencastify is a Google for Education Premier Partner. It lets you record, edit, and share videos of your screen.

Used for: Recording videos and having students answer questions for different lessons.

About: Edpuzzle lets teachers create interactive video lessons for their students. They are offering support for educators affected by COVID-19 as well. Learn more here.

Used for: Simple “Get Started doc” sent to students and parents to help them get started. Melanie also created a “Pacing Guide” for her students and their guardians to understand what they would be doing each week.

About: Google Docs is part of the G-Suite of collaboration tools used by businesses and educators. You can learn more about Google for Education here. 

Thanks for reading, happy teaching and learning, and we hope to see you in our upcoming webinars in our distance learning series!

Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.

For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in a centralized hub. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, and teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.

 

Are you thinking about bringing digital curriculum to your school or district?

Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum by Open Up Resources, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.

Keep Reading…