Instructional Flexibility in Distance Learning

Teachers all over the country are preparing to begin the 2020-2021 school year. Some are starting as they ended in spring, in full distance- online only formats. Some are returning in variations of hybrid models with on campus and at-home days, some are grappling with impossible questions like how on earth they will teach phonics while wearing a mask, how they will keep 7th graders from hugging each other, or how to adequately space kindergarteners on the rainbow rug.

The unknown adds a layer of complexity to teaching. Teachers everywhere are preparing for multiple realities, if they are going back to the classroom, many have been told they will need to be able to shift to online only instruction with a 24-hour turnaround time. Some have been told to plan to teach to both their students in the classroom, and the ones who opt out and are staying home. Whoa. These kinds of demands from boards of education and superintendents prove a complete lack of understanding of the effort, planning, strategy and precision that does into planning to teach every single day. Planning for one method of instruction is hard enough, planning for multiple modes is darn near impossible. 

But what if, we could just plan once regardless of the situation or modality? What if we could create one flexible lesson plan that was agile enough to work across methods and modalities? What if we could focus enough on the big picture that the minutia and even the physical environment wouldn’t matter?

Instructional flexibility with blended learning station rotation in mind is how the iDEAL Institute of Loyola Marymount University is approaching this issue. We are hoping to help teachers plan for flexibility, so that they only need to plan once. View the video and complementary PDF guide: Planning for Instructional Flexibility