The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) would like to take this opportunity to applaud and thank Catholic school educators for their innovation and persistence in meeting the needs of all students. We are in an unprecedented time-both personally and professionally, and your dedication to your students is commended. Please know of our thoughts and prayers as you continue your good work on behalf of ALL students.
As educators, we are comfortable within the four walls of our classrooms. We use our expertise to confidently plan engaging lessons, coordinate activities, and motivate our students. When we encounter challenges and need new ideas, we look to others for support and to experts for evidence-based practices to ensure our students have the best chance of success.
During this unique time, we are met with many challenges. Teaching has made a quick shift to online and distance learning, and some of us may have been more prepared than others. Despite our level of preparedness, these are uncharted waters and it is the reality for the unforeseeable future. In light of this, PIE wants you to know that we are here to support you. Together, we can do hard things!
We take the opportunity to share various tools and resources to assist in your online teaching. There are many experts in this field, and we are blessed by their increasing willingness to provide support to us during this time. Many have ramped up their support in the past few weeks, and we direct your attention to some valuable sites that provide ideas on how to effectively meet the needs of your students, especially those that struggle or have disabilities.
- Schoolvirtually.org provides resources for educators and families to support all learners, including students with disabilities and language learners. This is a new site and the developers have flooded it with valuable resources to meet your online needs. Here is a list of topics under the educator tab.
- Instructionalcoaching.com is a site developed by Dr. Jim Knight from the University of Kansas. Although the site is geared towards a variety of instructional projects, it has a wealth of resources pertaining to teaching from home.
- Educatingalllearners.org is “an effort by educators, for educators.” There are resources, webinars, forums, and the latest updates about COVID19. It is an alliance dedicated to the equity of all learners.
- Learningkeepsgoing.org seeks to make the transition to online learning easier. You can also find an educator help desk and free technology (among many other things).
- Understood.org is a free online resource (in English and Spanish) that is aimed at providing families (and educators) with the practical tools and advice for a child's academic, behavioral, and social/emotional journey. Here are a few recent posts to address online learning.
- Innovations in Special Education Technology has additional technology tools that can be used to address the needs of those with disabilities. Many of these resources are free and available for immediate use.
- Drs. Lisa Dieker and Rebecca Hines, professors at the University of Central Florida, have created a series of podcasts addressing Practical Access for students with disabilities during this shift to online learning. They take a fun and practical look at the current learning situation.
In a time when we may not know where to turn, amazing educators across the country are busy at work. They are providing information, support, and the necessary resources for our online classrooms. Although this time may be difficult, you are not alone.
Together, we can do hard things!
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