Hybrid Learning

Hybrid Teaching: What’s Working? (Nine Weeks In)

(My three week update)

On the upside, I think I’ve mastered knowing which of the zillion devices I set up at the beginning of each period need to be muted?  Turns out hybrid teaching is still hard and still exhausting, but is slowly normalizing itself.  It helps that, slowly, students are choosing to come back to fully in person.  Not surprisingly, a lot has changed since the start of the school year.


I continue to use Nearpod, but have found it to be most helpful in lessons that lend themselves to quick understanding checks.  Maybe with touch screens I would find it more useful?  What I found myself missing was the collaborative aspect of class that I was missing now that we have to be six feet apart.  I’ve found Google’s Jamboard to be a better solution for this.  (Note: I did have to get our IT department to “activate” it for us, but the software is free.)  I’ve used Jamboard for asynchronous and synchronous discussions in which we can group the sticky notes together by topic.  I’ve used it to get a read on how students are feeling on a topic or overall and to complete a review braindump (Example Jamboard from review).  There are a ton of free templates available if you’re looking for ideas (example).

Repl.it forced us to switch to Teams, but it’s totally worth it.  So far, I like that I can create Team repls so the students all have access to the programs we write together and they can join in on the coding.  The assignments are easy to set up and assign and they recently added the ability to assign the project to a group which works super smoothly.  I still wish you could mark projects “completed” or “needs to be revised” like you could on Classroom, but its easy to give feedback using their “annotate” tool which is similar to leaving a comment like on Google Docs.

Class Logistics

Our school has given each classroom a second device and bluetooth microphone/speaker.  Current logistics are we run the class from our personal laptop and have the classroom laptop join the Zoom and connect to the projector and the speaker.  Anything we need to share to the students (both remote and in person) is shared by sharing the screen from your personal laptop.  It works out better than it sounds.  It’s taken a long time to master all the muting, unmuting, and setup that has to occur at the beginning of the class.

Now that I’ve figured out the basics, I’m focused on ways in which I can use Zoom to truly enhance instruction rather than just be a way to communicate with our remote learners.  I feel like this has been really successful for pair programming and sharing our progress.  When pair programming, I have everyone join Zoom and put them into breakout rooms.  If their partner is in the room, they can chat outloud.  If their partner is at home, they use the audio on Zoom.  When they’re the driver, they share their screen.  Middle school students have always been really interested in seeing each other’s progress on Scratch projects.  Now that I have everyone logged in, it’s really beneficial to pause the class every so often and invite students to share their screen.  This has allowed the students to share what they’ve discovered so far and the class to focus on the process over the final product.

Self-compassion and Self-care

Nothing here has really changed.  It continues to be a challenge to make time for working out or just some yoga stretches.  One thing that has brought me joy is trying to make time to do something nice for my fellow teachers like making them some extra masks or sharing the products of my self-care baking activities.