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Post-Pandemic Digital Routines


Screen fatigue is real: As students and teachers return in earnest this semester to in-person learning, they are finding themselves exhausted with the past four semesters of remote on-again-off-again learning. Indeed, students’ fascinations with the ubiquitous screen is not what it was two years ago.

How can classroom teachers take full advantage of this moment of dulled craving for cyberspace, a semester where students are particularly hungry to engage in dialogue and other face-to-face communications?

Here are a handful of options, a post-pandemic checklist for optimal use of digital technologies, post-COVID, as you rethink your pre-pandemic classroom set-ups and routines:

1. STUDENT-LED? Ensure that you know who your digital leaders are. Assign one or two tech-savvy students to be your Technology Directors for a month or a quarter or the entire semester. Write a clear job description to ensure they understand the boundaries of their task. This could include any range of activities, like: ensuring all tablets are charged, recommending classroom tablet routines, and trouble-shooting technical issues.

2. STUDENT-ASSESSED? Provide the opportunity for students to offer Classroom Feedback on your classes assessment apps (like Kaboom!), reading apps, and writing tools. Feedback could be via grading with comments (on paper), an online survey, or a five-minute post-tool dialogue with student scribes. Encouraging your students to assess classrooms applications empowers them to embrace a life-long habit of critically evaluating technical tools.

3. INTERNET-BASED RESEARCH OPTIONS? Since locating information has become both easier in the past decade (since Search Engines arrived) as well as harder (with the overwhelming quantity of information), giving students a choice of research topics provides an excellent opportunity to explore subjects most aligned with their own interests. Student-Directed Research can be carried out independently or in pairs.

4. RECONSTITUTED LITERACY WORKSHOPS? Reading and writing workshop models need to keep pace with optimal technologies; Online-‘N’-Offline Workshops offer a variety of literacy options. For example, if you use the Daily 5 model, consider including tablets as your readers for Independent, Pair-Share, or Small Group reading. Make sure the online reader has Word Work options to engage in vocabulary tasks via options like Thesaurus.

5. BRAIN-BREAK OPTIONS? In our increasingly automated days --- and daze, students’ brains need brain-breaks apart from academic tasks. Assign two students to be Brain-Break Co-Captains to research and present Movement Websites to “Take 5” between subjects, transitioning not only students’ bodies but brains (e.g., Go Noodle, The Learning Station).


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