We’re collecting questions about Learning at Home from teachers at all levels, and we’ll be working with experts to help get these questions answered. If you have questions, please provide them here.
On Friday afternoon, March 13, 2020, Governor Pritzker announced that all Illinois schools would be closing for a week and a half at a minimum. In advance of that, over 100 of Illinois’ approximately 850 school districts had already announced closures. (See this website from the Illinois State Board of Education for more information – Scroll down to view their dashboard.) Some of these closures have been announced into mid-April. This same pattern is taking place throughout the United States and across the globe.
Follow #KeepLearning #LearningAtHome #elearning & #ILEdChat on Twitter
With the unprecedented move to Learning at Home in the face of COVID-19, resources and ideas are being widely shared, most notably on Twitter. As was shared in our previous post, encouraging teachers to actively engage with a PLN through Twitter can generally result in positive innovation and sharing, but such engagement is incredibly critical at this time–and will continue to be beneficial after we have completed the quarantine period. Even if you are an educator who is not on Twitter, clicking on the links for each of the following Twitter hashtags (a way of labeling and organizing content on Twitter) will allow you to scroll directly through the questions, answers, and resources being shared.
Once you are in the hashtag search (which you can also access on your own by using Twitter’s search bar and simply typing in the hashtag), you will see a number of tabs near the top of the page:
Of these, the two most useful are, as you would expect, Top and Latest. Top tab will show you the posts garnering the highest level of engagement on Twitter, which is defined as a mix of replies, retweets, and likes. The Latest tab will show you the most recent posts in chronological order. In either case, start reading at the top of the tab and scroll down as you read. Clicking on links as you read will allow you to access that information, and the links will conveniently open in new tabs in your web browser, so you don’t lose your place.
By the time you have scrolled through a portion of the list, there will likely be new tweets to view at the top.
Follow the Illinois Digital Educators Alliance Twitter account – @ideaillinois
IDEA Illinois is one of the leading chapters of ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) in the world, and as expected, they are taking a leadership role in providing resources regarding E-Learning to educators at all levels. If you have a Twitter account, you can follow @ideaillinois, by typing @ideaillinois in the search bar, and then clicking the “Follow” button. Even if you do not have a Twitter account, you can click here to follow @ideaillinois.
IDEA Illinois is tweeting thoughtful questions and resources throughout the day each day and using the hashtags #elearning and #ILEdChat. Additionally, they are providing advice and gathering curated resources on this page on the IDEA Illinois website. (This page is being updated regularly, so keep checking it.)
Ask questions and share
Even if you are new on Twitter and even if you have very few followers, don’t be afraid to ask questions and share resources that you and your team have found or created. If you use the hashtags listed here (by simply typing them in with the # at the start and all one word–exactly as they are written in this post), you’ll likely get responses even with very followers.
Additionally, as you find others who are tweeting helpful information, click on their Twitter handle to go to their account click the “Follow” button to start to build up individuals and organizations that you are following directly.