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The pandemic teaching of mid-2020 was really not distance learning. It was also not homeschooling, which is a choice parents make for very specific reasons (e.g., religious, safety, not happy with their public school). It was crisis teaching. Now, we have time to be more purposeful and intentional with distance learning. What should not be lost is that as a field we learned more about what works by, at times, experiencing what didn’t work in a virtual setting. It heightened our sense of what we already knew in face-to-face classrooms (Hattie, 2020):
  • Fostering student self-regulation is crucial for moving learning to deep and transfer levels.
  • Learning accelerates when the student, not the teacher, is in control of learning.
  • There needs to be a diversity of instructional approaches (not just some direct instruction and then some off-line independent work).
  • Well-designed peer learning impacts understanding.
  • Feedback in a high trust environment must be integrated into the learning cycle.
Let’s use what we have learned and are continuing to learn, whether in a face-to-face or distance learning environment. As a part of face-to-face teaching, let’s build our students’ capacity (and our own) for distance learning. Now we have time to use evidence about what works best to impact students.  
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