Across the country, teachers, students, and families have been engaging in simultaneous learning (often referred to as hybrid learning, or “Zoom and Room”) for quite some time. A year into these practices, we have become more familiar with the unfamiliar, but there is still so much for us to learn. Some of the challenges that teachers face in simultaneous learning are related to questions around, “How can teachers equally engage, monitor, and support groups of students who are both in-person and at home ?” We know that this is not the optimal practice, but at The Learning Accelerator, we have identified some tips that can hopefully help to provide success in classrooms during this time.
- Make the plan and content visible. The use of tools such as virtual notebooks, online agendas, and communicating the plan, can provide consistent structures, routines, and access to virtual materials and content.
- Build Culture and Community. We understand that community building is difficult in simultaneous learning environments, but providing remote classroom jobs, virtual reward systems, and opportunities for fun can go a long way in strengthening collaboration and connection amongst students.
- Create Opportunities for Student Agency. Simultaneous learning does not always have to be synchronous. Provide students with a variety of opportunities for engagement such as through playlists, choice boards, and task lists. Such strategies cam empower students to drive their own learning
While simultaneous learning is new for most of us, the tips above only scratch the surface. The Learning Accelerator continues to learn from educators and school systems across the country about what is working and what is not working. One of the tools that we have found to be helpful for designing instruction for simultaneous learning is the Concurrent Classroom Model Toolkit, a guide created by Mendon-Upton Regional School District. In this guide, teachers will find additional resources and models that can continue to enhance hybrid learning for their students.