Equity & Access PreK-12 | Nov - Dec 2020

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6 PRINCIPLES FOR CREATING EQUITABLE ONLINE AND BLENDED LEARNING EXPERIENCES

By Kristina J. Doubet and Eric M. Carbaugh At this point in most school years, we have settled into the flow of classroom life. The hard work invested earlier in the year establishing norms and routines has paid off, and we can “lean into” the resulting rhythm of the school day – a rhythm which allows us to be flexible in meeting the diverse learning needs of our students. This, however, is not “most school years”. Most of us are using some kind of remote learning, many of us in tandem with small groups of students meeting face to face. Adopting and adapting to these new blended models of instruction reinforces the reality that nothing about this year feels normal. Many of us are still trying to establish routines. For others, we’ve found a flow, but are dissatisfied with the opportunities it affords us to connect 52

with our students, to connect students to each other, and to address learning diversity in a meaningful fashion. The good news is that no matter where we are in our search for a satisfying routine, there is hope. Because this is not “most school years”, we have the flexibility – at any point in the year – to take stock of and make adjustments to our instructional practices in the pursuit of more equitable learning experiences. Although so much about daily school life has changed, what remains the same is that our students need access to high-quality, meaningful, and engaging instruction that is tailored to meet their unique learning needs. Below, we share six principles to help shape classroom practice in virtual and blended learning models to provide teachers with a sense of routine and students

The American Consortium for Equity in Education