Strategies for Creating Inclusive and Engaging Online Classrooms using GAFE (Session 11A)
Main Topic: Online Learning and Technology
Session Type: Skill Share
There has not been as disruptive an event to K-12 education as the COVID-19 pandemic. Overnight schools shifted to distance learning which was viewed as an emergency solution, and not the ideal solution (Girelli, Bevilacqua, & Acquaro, 2020). According to Girelli et al. (2020), educators view face-to-face teaching as vital to building relationships and motivating students and many teachers do not consider remote teaching to be sufficient. Nonetheless, educators were left to learn a new way to teach students who are not physically in the classroom with them with little or no training. As a result, there has been a widening of the achievement gap and high-needs students are falling further behind (Anderson, 2020). Online learning looks to be a new normal in K-12 education, so educators need opportunities for training and sharing best practices in this new setting. This skill share session will provide strategies designed to engage all online learners and create inclusive online classrooms. The presenters are technology integration specialists and professional development trainers who have worked with many K-12 teachers as they learned new technology skills and implemented online classrooms during the 2020-2021 school year. The presenters will share their experiences and observations as they worked with teachers to create online classes and discuss the major barriers to engagement and inclusion in these classes. The most common barrier to inclusion in online classrooms has been student engagement. Social learning is a key component used in almost all face-to-face classrooms to enhance engagement and inclusion, but it is more difficult to implement during remote learning. Teachers have struggled to get students to interact in online settings. We will exhibit practical strategies used by the most effective teachers for engaging all students in social learning and creating inclusive online classrooms. We will also discuss the best research-based use of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. All of the strategies presented in this session will use tools and extensions that are free to all educators through Google Apps for Education.
Anderson, T. C. (2020). Academics, Achievement Gap, and Nutritional Health: The Impact of Coronavirus on Education. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 87(1), 14–17.
Girelli, C., Bevilacqua, A., & Acquaro, D. (2020). COVID-19: What Have We Learned From Italy’s Education System Lockdown? International Studies in Educational Administration (Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration & Management (CCEAM)), 48(3), 51–58.
- Explore the major barriers to engagement and inclusion in online classrooms.
- Understand the role of social learning in creating inclusive classrooms.
- Learn effective ways to utilize synchronous and asynchronous learning to support the needs of diverse learners.
- Learn strategies to implement social learning in inclusive online classes to engage all learners using free tools and extensions from GAFE.
Keywords: Online Education, K-12 Education, GAFE, Inclusion, COVID-19, Synchronous and Asynchronous
Dr. Robyn Rice Maricopa Unified School District / University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa - Technology Integration SpecialistDr. Robyn RiceMaricopa Unified School District / University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa - Technology Integration Specialist
Maricopa Unified School District / University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Dr. Robyn Rice is a Technology Integration Specialist for Maricopa Unified School District in Maricopa, Arizona. She has been in education for 20 years and started the award-winning blended learning program for MUSD. In addition, she is an Education Specialist and Researcher for the Ne’epapa Ka Hana Professional Development Series STEMD2 R&D Group through the Center on Disability Studies. She is passionate about helping educators learn to use technology to increase individual student achievement.
Ms. Emily Maxwell Maricopa Unified School District / Grand Canyon University - Technology Integration SpecialistMs. Emily MaxwellMaricopa Unified School District / Grand Canyon University - Technology Integration Specialist
Maricopa Unified School District / Grand Canyon University
Emily Maxwell is currently the Technology Integration Specialist for the Maricopa Unified School District. She has been an educator for 11 years, starting her career at a charter school. At this school, she started the use of Google Classroom and supported teachers throughout the process. She has taught 5th-8th grade and enjoyed teaching middle school science the most. She holds a Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix. She also has experience with technology integration as she is earning her doctorate through Grand Canyon University. Her dissertation topic revolves around technostress and teachers. Her current role as Technology Integration Specialist and relevant research has put her in a position to support and encourage healthy technology use while allowing teachers to be excited about incorporating more technology.