March 19, 2020
School is looking a bit different these days with COVID-19 closures. Lessons are online in the form of remote learning, distractions at home are everywhere, and teacher support may be relatively slow. It's the nature of things right now and the foreseeable future, but rather than complain, there are ways we can all roll up our sleeves and solve these problems like pros.
Your teachers are doing their best. Right now they are quickly cobbling together resources and lesson plans for a virtual classroom environment, tending to their own families and answering emails from students (and parents).
Did you know the average literature teacher has five classes, each with at least 20 students per class? That's 100+ individuals they need to engage with, ALL DAY LONG, and monitor the progress of ... from home! It's a big undertaking, so the more you can do on your own, the better off you'll be. Find ways to answer your own questions independently.
This is where remote learning tools become of great benefit. These aren't just for teachers to use as a conduit to get assignments in front of students. Remote learning tools are among the best ways you can proactively take the lead in independent learning.
Whether you realize it or not, you've probably already taken proactive measures. Have you set up your Alexa smart speaker to help you prep for the SATs with a word of the day alert, researched a famous historical figure, or asked about current events? You had a question, you found the answer. Take that one step further to where we are today. Your school may have a system like Canvas, Schoology or Blackboard to help you navigate online learning, but sometimes it's not enough. Occasionally you'll need to open a fresh browser window and search for your own solutions.
Specifically, let's focus on writing. Compared to other skills, writing is already something you complete on your own. Your teacher isn't in your home or at Starbucks with you as you write your paper. You may not be a great writer at first, but with help and the right tech tool, improving your writing is one of the most achievable goals you can accomplish independently.
Here's how to get started:
1. Find a quiet space. If that's not possible, stream a Yoga/Meditation playlist from Spotify to help you focus.
2. Fire up your laptop, desktop or tablet and review your writing assignment. Do you need to write a full paper or short essay? What's it about? Do you have the resource materials ready and on-hand?
3. Set up your free writing account from Ecree.com and log in. Yep, you can't beat free.
4. Start writing or upload a file you saved in another program.
As you write your paper or essay, you'll get step-by-step support to guide you through the writing process from introduction to conclusion. It's a virtual writing assistant that gives you real-time, unbiased feedback.
While your teacher is busy fielding dozens of other questions from your classmates, you are able to sit down, write your paper and understand immediately what you wrote well, which areas need minor changes, and what needs bigger revisions. You'll never have to bounce email drafts back and forth again.
We're on the edge of something big right now in education. We can all see it. Teachers are realizing that online learning isn't a temporary trend, it's taking root. Students are realizing that to be successful in school and life, remote learning and remote offices are becoming normal.
Remember, whether at home or at school, writing without teacher input is absolutely possible. You may be hesitant at first, but be confident in your ability to work independently and know that Ecree is one remote learning resource that is here to help you no matter how long COVID-19 sticks around.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Check out our forum to contribute to the conversation!
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