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How to regain control of a distance learning class when technology fails

Most educators faced a disruption or interruption at least once during a distance learning class as COVID-19 has kept students out of the classroom.

Even if you’re dealing with college students, it can still be a challenge to regain control of the classroom and get yourself back into the headspace of teaching when you’ve had to troubleshoot and fix a technical interruption.

For elementary school teachers, the challenge is even more significant.

One of the best ways to protect yourself against technical glitches and interruptions to your lessons is to prepare for a situation like this in advance. The more you’ve thought about it, the easier it will be to regain control after technology fails.

In this article, we’ll explore various methods that educators can use to regain control of their class if technology fails during a remote education lesson.

Tips for regaining control of your remote education class after a technical interruption

Most teachers, especially those teaching K-12 classes, know what to do to calm an unruly or disruptive class when everyone is in the same space. It’s more challenging when everyone is remote, but the fundamentals remain.

Set expectations early on

Maintaining control of your class, even after an interruption, begins with setting expectations. From the very beginning, your students should know what behaviour is expected of them during remote education lessons and the consequences if they disrupt or disobey your requests.

In addition to setting expectations for their conduct generally, it may help to talk through potential interruption scenarios with your class and explain how you’d like them to behave if there’s a technical glitch or disruption during a lesson.

You can ask them to remain quiet, talk amongst themselves, or wait for a few minutes before alerting a parent or guardian. Whatever you decide, your students should be clear on their responsibilities during a technical interruption.

Create a class structure that can survive interruptions

Another great way that educators can prepare for glitches or interruptions is to create a class structure that can survive these technical challenges.

For primary or elementary school classes, this may look as simple as including 10-15 minutes of unstructured reading or homework time in every lesson. When that’s a part of every class, students will know to switch their focus to that task if there’s a technical issue that interrupts your lesson.

Get parents on your side

Once teachers have determined the best way to handle technical interruptions, let parents know to help answer questions and reinforce good behaviour at home. If parents are on the same page, they can help troubleshoot their students’ technology and remind them of the appropriate action while waiting for the teacher to return.

Reward positive behaviour

A great way to help encourage good behaviour from students is positive reinforcement. If a class was exceptionally rocky and students were patient and waited quietly to return to the lesson, make sure to acknowledge and reward them for their exemplary behaviour.

Ensure smooth assignment submission with Crowdmark

There are many different ways that your daily lessons can be interrupted, especially if you’re using new and unfamiliar technology like Webex or Zoom. To help make things simpler, take work off your plate with a digital grading tool like Crowdmark.

Crowdmark offers teachers the opportunity to conduct assignment submission and grading online, freeing them from reliance on a patchwork of other digital solutions.

Once students submit their homework, it’s collated in Crowdmark’s easy-to-use interface, where teachers can grade it quickly using a suite of rich text-enabled grading tools.

Since we’re all reliant on technology, make sure yours works for you. Try a free trial of Crowdmark today to explore this simple, functional digital grading platform.

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