When Instruction HAS to Go Digital

I hate writing this blog post. It’s March 11, 2020, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has plummeted AGAIN over Covid-19 fears. I’m starting to see chatter on social media about schools telling teachers to prep for online instruction.

So let’s do that.

Some schools are WAY ahead of this and already have Blackboard, Canvas, Google Classroom, or other similar platforms. Those folks aren’t reading this blog post.

You are. Your students may not have computers at home, may have to borrow Mom’s phone for 30 minutes, or may have to walk to a library to pull this off. We have to get a little creative.

Ideas for Online Instruction

  1. If you have a classroom website, post daily assignments there with links to relevant resources. That’s a great place to upload handouts, exercises, and assessments. Weebly is super easy, and there’s a free version.
  2. Work live with students on Google Docs. While they are writing, you can chat back and forth and knock out some conferences.
  3. Create a private Facebook group for each class. Daily Facebook Live broadcasts can take care of teacher input and modeling, assignments can be given within the group discussion, and the teacher can upload files for student access.
  4. Create a hashtag for your class (#kratzerclass or some such thing) and host a Twitter chat as a form of Socratic seminar.
  5. Point students to instructional videos on YouTube, Khan Academy, and the like.
  6. Do a little small group work via Google Hangouts. The app is free and can be used on a phone or computer. Go cute and show up on camera or stick your hair in a bun and use audio only.
  7. Offer a live webinar through Zoom. The free version allows for as many as 100 participants, so go crazy.

Let’s keep growing this list! Shoot me a message and feed me some more free, creative ideas. As our little list grows, I will link below to some other blog posts about remote learning. Keep checking back for more!

From OC Beach Teacher: Twitter: A Tool for School

From Reading and Writing Haven: How to Make the Most of Elearning Days

From AP Lit and More: Converting to Digital Teaching

From Now Spark Creativity: Help for Teaching Through Coronavirus Closings

From Teach Between the Lines: Getting Started with E-Learning

From The Littlest Teacher: No-Tech Post-Reading Activities Students Can Complete at Home

From Room 213: Lessons and Strategies for Remote Learning

From Joy Sexton: 5 ELA Emergency Lesson Plans for Distance Learning

A free resource from Lit with Laura: A Parent’s Guide to Google Classroom

Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions Due to School Closings

From Torry Trust, Ph.D.: Teaching Remotely in Times of Need

Great tips from Virginia Commonwealth University

12 Museums That Offer Free Virtual Tours


I’m a recovering high school English teacher and curriculum specialist with a passion for helping teachers leave school at school. I create engaging, rigorous curriculum resources for secondary ELA professionals, and I facilitate workshops to help those teachers implement the materials effectively.