Continuing Remote Learning for Students Without Internet
This transition to remote learning during Covid-19 has brought many roadblocks, detours, and bumpy roads. One of those is trying to figure out how to continue remote learning for students without internet. Teachers have had to be very creative, but with the help of administrators, school districts, and G Suite, it has been possible.
What Have Administrators Done?
Administrators and teachers have done what they have always done—sent home homework packets with students. But they also go a step further. They partner with the local television stations, asking them to broadcast educational programs. In this way, the students can get the content and the book work together.
What Have School Districts Done?
Some school districts have gone over and above. Some offer electronic devices out on loan that students can take to the library or the like where they can get free internet access. Others partner up with telecommunication companies to make internet access available as a utility. Others, yet, offer internet as a mobile hotspot or other wireless internet connection. However, this can get expensive.
What Has G Suite Done?
Students can use G Suite for Education and G Suite applications, such as Calendar and Drive, on their Chromebooks even without the internet. However, they do need the internet for the initial setup.
Google Docs also has an offline extension that can be downloaded on the Chrome browser. This extension allows teachers and students to access several apps, including Google Sheets, Google Docs, and Google Slides, while offline.
Any lecture or document can be downloaded from Google Drive and Google Classroom while online. Then they can be accessed while offline from any device.
What Can Be Done with Technology?
If this isn’t enough, there is so much more that can be done offline with the Chromebooks that many students have for school purposes. For instance, students can capture photos and videos and edit them. They can also take notes using the Google Keep app. When teachers create projects or activities for students to do, they can offline projects for those without access to the internet. Those teachers merely use Soundtrap or Screencastifyfor Education for their students. Another option is for the teachers to save the webpages to a USB flash drive for offline viewing.
What Can You Do for Your Students?
There are so many things that you can do. One thing you can do is create work or assignments that the student doesn’t need internet access to complete. Another is to send a handout home with your students with the local broadcast stations and educational broadcast times listed. If your school has devices available for your students, make sure they get one on loan. You could send a handout home with your students containing a list of free hotspots or Wi-Fi. Sometimes, internet companies offer internet connection rates for low prices. Search these out and send a handout home with your students about these deals.
Send a letter home with your students, encouraging their parents to take advantage of the many free community resources at their fingertips. List those resources. They may not know that they’re available or where to even begin looking. Send home another handout containing a list of tools with offline access. A few of these include G Suite on Google Chromebooks, Canary Learning, Google Offline docs extension, and Pocket.
Continue to host video sessions but make them accessible by phone. When you show things on the screen or the board, thoroughly explain what you’re showing so that the students who are calling in do not get left behind.
Lastly, regularly call your students to make sure they are keeping up with the lessons. The worst part about continuing remote learning for students without internet would be continuing without the student because he didn’t have the internet. Make frequent calls. Make sure he’s not being left behind!