Spark 101 As A Distance Learning Resource - UPDATED

March 25, 2020 / Russell Brown, Content Design Lead

UPDATED March 25, 2020 - With schools closing across the U.S. due to COVID-19, creating a distance learning plan is top of mind for all teachers and parents.  Several members of our team are balancing working from home and homeschooling their children.  It’s a stressful time, but we are here to help!  We want to share with you how our Spark 101 resources can be used for distance learning.  If you have used Spark 101 STEM Skills Videos, great!  I hope you have found them as valuable and easy to use as we do.  If you haven’t used our videos yet, now is a great time to see how we are a great tool for distance learning.

Spark 101 STEM Skills Videos allow students to solve real-world STEM skill problems just like STEM professionals.  I go out and talk with STEM professionals about the problems they are solving.  We take those problems and share them with you and students in our Spark 101 STEM Skills Videos.  The videos are actual things these people are working on in their jobs.  We see teachers using the videos in blended learning environments and in traditional settings.  But, did you ever think of using Spark 101 STEM Skills Videos in a distance learning environment?  If your students have the ability to collaborate using technology, then you are ready to make Spark 101 part of your distance learning plan.  We have made it even easier with the new student view link or QR code.  Have students collaborate using google docs or any other collaborative platform to share out their work.  You can even host a virtual hangout with groups of students or have kids set one up. I’m sure they can teach you how to do that if you haven’t set something like that up before. 

Teach your content and achieve the ISTE Creative Communicator standard all while students never set foot in a school building.  You know that administrators are going to be worked up about evaluations and classroom observations if we begin to have too much time out of the building.  Make Spark 101 part of a lesson, and have administration join in on one of your hangouts. Give them the student link QR code to prepare for their visit to your hangout.  While I don’t guarantee your administrator will be giving you an “Exceeds Expectations” on your evaluation, your students will appreciate working with their classmates rather than more boring textbook work.

And just like teachers have been telling students forever, please wash your hands! #washyourhands #handwashing #soapandwater

We added sample Home Learning Lessons to our Energy Consumption video page - check them out here!

Let me know if you do use Spark 101 as part of your distance learning plan.  We would love to see how you use Spark 101. As always, let us know what you think of the Spark 101 STEM professional development videos.  Connect with us on our socials!

* This post was originally published on March 12, 2020 and was updated on March 25, 2020.

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