Many teachers across Texas have been asked to instruct students online while schools are closed amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

While school districts and campuses may have preferred platforms and shared resources with teachers, we've compiled some resources below that may help with the transition.

Tools from TCEA

The Texas Computer Education Association is offering free webinars to help educators across Texas with remote learning. From March 30 through April 10, TCEA plans to add new sessions daily with tips. The first videos share how to use Zoom, Google Classroom and other Google tools.

Click here to explore their resources and take advantage of a free membership to explore more TCEA tools.


 

A NOTE OF CAUTION: There are security and privacy concerns surrounding remote services and software, so teachers should read this before setting up a system for online learning.

 

PBS At-Home Learning Initiative

The PBS At-Home Learning Initiative makes available current and upcoming television programming schedules that have been modified to complement instruction currently happening at home:

TEKS-aligned supplemental materials, including interactive lessons and media galleries, can be found online at PBSLearningMedia.org. These resources are free and available to anyone with internet access. Districts and educators interested in learning more about PBS teacher account features can find additional information in the Educator Resource Guide

Texas Home Learning Model

TEA developed a Texas Home Learning Model 1.0 that provides districts, teachers, parents and students with a temporary, comprehensive 8-week learning plan that can be started immediately in a student’s home environment. This resource is completely optional for districts to use. It includes daily schedules for students in all grades, with both print and digital resource options. All resources on the Texas Home Learning site are free to access, and all printed materials will be freely available to download.

To support districts interested in using this tool, TEA has set up a packet delivery service at a cost to the district that would mail printed materials directly to a student's home, prioritizing early grades. However, districts may print on their own to save printing costs. Districts can preview student grade level packets on the Texas Home Learning website to determine if they want to purchase the printing and shipping services offered by TEA.

To learn more about the Texas Home Learning Model, you may access a presentation document and recording for a webinar. You may also visit: Texas Home Learning FAQ.

Learning Forward webinar

Learning Forward, the professional learning association, hosted a webinar on March 26 on Teaching in an Online Environment. The free recording is available to download and watch on demand. People can also access presentation slides.

Below are some questions and answers from the Learning Forward presentation. Posting the presentation here does not constitute an endorsement of any particular resources or services by TCTA.

What are some math resources that can be used for online learning for grades K-5?

Math should not be a barrier to student success. MathCuts are quick video demonstrations of research-based, standards-aligned strategies that educators can use in their classrooms. Developed and distributed by the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin. (Click here to learn more.)

Khan Academy and Learnzillion are awesome.

How can teachers feel close to students since they don't want to show on cameras or meetings?

I have been reading to my class and posting it on Dojo every night!

What kind of LMS (learning management systems) systems are you using?

We do not have a common LMS and are striving to have our leaders support us. Currently considering Canvas.

Other LMS platforms include SeeSaw at the elementary level and Schoology for middle and high school levels.

Screencastify is a pretty easy screen casting app that allows you to make a video and also show what you're doing on the screen so you can model and think aloud how to close read a text, write something, etc. You can then share those with your students.

You can also use your phone and create a private YouTube channel or post them to your Google Classroom. Zoom works great as does Google Hangout or Microsoft Teams for live sessions where you can share your screen.

DitchthatTextbook.com is a great blog with tutorials, samples, templates, etc.

I perceive some students are technologically illiterate. How do teachers avoid doing tutorials on how to upload tasks or use the platforms?

I always make sure I am an "expert" at the program. Create a fake kids account and try logging in and perceive problems that the students may have.

From the Kent School District website — Stay Engaged During the School Closure 

Other options

The Heinemann Blog has a good post with advice from Jennifer Serravallo on getting started with distance and virtual teaching. Click here to read it and find other resources, including Serravallo's Facebook group on reading and writing strategies.

State Educational Technology Directors Association
The SETDA Coalition for eLearning focuses state leaders, affiliates, and partners in collective action around teaching and learning in the digital age. This portal, the edWeb community, and series of webinars are an ever-evolving compilation of rapidly developing resources around eLearning for state education agencies and school districts. The content it publishes is all provided at no cost to users and is supported by SETDA’s partners and underwriters. 

SETDA's website offers teacher resources, with the following content: 

Professional Learning for Teaching Online
Online Learning Teaching Tools

Presenting: Create presentations using these apps. 

Articles and Blog Posts
MindmappingGraphic organizers can be created using these apps. 
Presenting: Create presentations using these apps. 

Publishing: Publish web pages and interactive books with these tools. 
Scanning: Digitize documents from your iOS device using these apps. Notes and Files are built into your iPad! 

Video/Whiteboards/Screencasting: Create videos and demonstrate concepts using these apps. 

Writing/Drawing/Annotating: Make drawings, annotate images, and more with these apps. 

SETDA also includes resources and ideas for teaching students with disabilites.

SETDA's edWeb for eLearning platform offers webinars and advice. The community is free to join.

Online learning for students with disabilities

The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to support states, districts and schools with improving access to materials and technologies for students with disabilities.

The AEM Center is hosting a series of webinars, each providing a deeper dive into a specific topic related to accessibility. Visit the AEM Events page for full details about each webinar.

  • Personalizing the Reading Experience: Week of 3/30​
  • Creating High-Quality and Accessible Video: Week of 4/6​
  • Creating Accessible Documents and Slide Decks: Week of 4/13​
  • Making Math Notation Accessible: Week of 4/20​

Each week will begin with a webinar on Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. CDT, followed with office hours from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays.

The AEM Center has a webpage devoted to COVID-19 resources that includes links to U.S. Department of Education guidance and other tools for teachers.

Accessibility Practices for Teachers 
Personalizing the Reading Experience

Creating High Quality and Accessible Video

Creating Accessible Documents

Making Math Notation Accessible

Access to Materials for Qualifying Students

Texas AEM contact:

Debbie Gonzales, Accessible Instructional Materials Coordinator
Instructional Materials and Educational Technology Division
Texas Education Agency
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701-1494
Tel: 512-463-9601
Fax: 512-475-3612
debbie.gonzales@tea.texas.gov

Additional resources for students with IEPs

TEA released a comprehensive compilation of At-Home Learning Resources for Students with Disabilities on April 7 that includes best practices for educating students with disabilities online, specialized resources for children with significant cognitive disabilities, autism, sensory impairments, behavioral and emotional disabilities, dyslexia and specific learning disabilities, as well as resources for related services.

Additionally, TEA released Considerations for Selecting Online Education Platforms for Special Populations (4/22/20), which provides that teachers should do their best to incorporate a mix of instructional strategies and not rely on one online platform. They should also consider robust discussions and collaborative work via chats and virtual meetings, video and audio clips, and hands-on exercises completed either together or individually. In order to determine the most appropriate learning platform, consider if your district already has an online learning platform or program used at school for instruction that is accessible to all students. If so, maximize learning through the programs students are already familiar with to avoid the lost time it would take for them to learn a new platform. This may not be the case for your district, or the current online platforms may not cover all areas of instruction needed. In this case, steps to consider which online programs could provide the most value add for your district include:

1) Is the online program design backed by research?

2) If this program will be new for your students and they will have to log in remotely, does it have a simple interface that can be easily navigated?

3) Does the program utilize tenets of direct instruction that are needed for students with disabilities?

  • Does the program allow for direct teaching of new concepts and multiple opportunities to practice new skills?
  • Does the program provide immediate error correction when wrong and an opportunity to practice correctly? Consider HOW the program provides feedback and whether this is appropriate for the student and the teacher. A higher quality program meets the needs of both the student and the teacher. Some programs simply indicate the answer is wrong (i.e., X), and the student can try again without any support or reteach. Some programs present the student with easier problems and scaffold up based on the questions he or she answers correctly. Some programs will play a video that explains the concept behind the misunderstanding prior to presenting the student with a new question.
  • Does the program include a diagnostic assessment to place students with the appropriate content/skill level, or does it provide guidance to teachers on determining the most appropriate starting point for each student?
  • Does the program utilize adaptive software so that students are engaging with material at their independent learning level? Does the program allow the teacher to assign activities based on the student’s skill level?
  • Is the program design age-appropriate and engaging for students, especially those who may be working independently at home during this time?
  • What accessibility features does the program have, and do they meet the needs of students who will be using the program?

4) Can the teacher (and the student) easily track student progress?

The State Educational Technology Directors Association released a webinar on March 23 focused on Supporting Students with IEPs During eLearning Days. Click here to watch it.