Spark 101 As A Distance Learning Resource

March 12, 2020 / Russell Brown, Content Design Lead

March 12, 2020 - I’m changing up my scheduled blog post this week for the national craze, the coronavirus #COVID19.  While I do not subscribe to the hysteria, I know that many folks have a lot of anxiety over the situation.  I also know that teachers are dealing with it from students and parents. Now schools are creating workdays so teachers may plan for distance learning.  I think it’s great that you are getting time to plan for something.  That’s a good thing!  But to plan for days off when you don’t know when those days will be is a little challenging.  So, I want to share a thought about Spark 101 and 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. #DistanceLearning #onlinelearning #virtuallearning

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!

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