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Preparing for Coronavirus: How to Harness EdTech to Keep Students Learning During School Closures

Mar 13, 2020 2020-03-13

By Taylor Kremer

As the coronavirus spreads, talk of school closings have increased. Schools near outbreaks in China, Italy, and parts of the US have already been closed to prevent the spread of the virus. Whether or not the virus effects your community, it is a good time to develop or review your plan in the event of a school closure for any number of reasons (including inclement weather, fires, or other unforeseen circumstances). Educational technology tools make it possible for your students to continue learning even when they can’t make it to class. Here are a few resources and tools to help you prepare for distance learning:

UTS, a public university of technology in Australia, has put together a Coronavirus Toolkit for Teaching to help teaching staff who need to modify their subject’s learning materials for students who have been affected by travel restrictions or school closures. It includes a framework for effectively adapting your subject to be delivered fully online.

Book Creator app, a tool for creating digital books, is offering free access to premium features for schools affected by the virus.

Kahoot! let’s educators create fun learning games, or choose from millions of existing games to introduce a topic, review and reinforce knowledge, and run formative assessment. They are is offering free access to all features to support distance learning in schools affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Pear Deck is offering complimentary access to Pear Deck Premium for 90 days. Pear Deck is an interactive presentation tool used to actively engage students in individual and social learning.

EdPuzzle, a tool for putting together engaging video lessons, is also offering help for affected schools with free trials.

Google has also begun rolling out free access to their advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally.

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