Distance teaching and virtual learning seems to be here to stay, at least for now. Whether you are hybrid remote teaching this year or virtual learning, there are definitely a few items that teachers are reporting to make their distance teaching lives a bit easier and more streamlined.
Note: Virtual teaching, distance learning, remote learning, remote teaching, virtual learning… so many different names this is going by but it all means the same thing…. teaching your students while not in the room with them.
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1. Osmo Document Camera (affiliate link)
The Osmo is a great tool for your iPad or kindle that works to make it into a document camera for virtual teaching. This allows you to read text along with your students, use manipulatives for Math, and more. SSE Blogger Michelle talks more about the Osmo in her blog post here. The Osmo is WAY more affordable than an actual document camera, less bulky, and easier to use.
A laptop stand will make a world of difference for you and your students view during virtual learning. Having a stand not only allows your laptop to get some air and prevent it from overheating but also allows your students to have a more straight on and more flattering view of you. It also will save your back from pain of bending over to be in screen view so much. Definitely a virtual learning / remote teaching must have.
If you have other people in your home during virtual learning and teaching it can make it difficult to focus. Many teachers suggested noise cancelling headphones. I love this affordable version with great views for virtual learning because of the microphone. As special education teachers we know how difficult background noise or feedback can be for our learners. Using a microphone cuts out the feedback and background noise and allows your students to focus on your virtual teaching.
Many special education teachers suggested a table top white board to store visuals or be able to draw token board, write words, or host morning meeting virtually. I searched for one that was double sided to allow teachers to prep for 2 lessons on one board. This double sided board also folds flat to store which is a huge win for teachers with limited teaching space at home. Lastly, this is one of the lowest prices out there for a white board!
My home office is pretty dark and many teachers in my Simply Special Community group have reported the same about their own office. This makes virtual teaching with live video super difficult! A small ring light to light your face will help your special education students be able to see your lips moving and facial expressions- which is super important in our line of work. This ring light is very small, moves 360 degrees and clips on to a desk or shelf making it a great option for virtual learning. For less than $20 this is a big win!
You can find all of these tools and more in my Amazon Shop:
If you are a virtual teacher this year, here are some helpful links!
I hope this helps the virtual teachers out there doing remote learning this year. Good luck!