Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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So much of everything we ever thought of normal has changed completely within the last two years. While teaching has always brought with it it’s own challenges, nothing can have us exhausted and beat as learning how to adapt through teaching in a pandemic. As a high school teacher myself, who survived March 2020-October 2020 teaching in a complete virtual environment from my home office, to finishing out the remaining 2020-2021 school year teaching in person and online at the exact same time.
I know first hand how insane all of this can be. Even more than insane, it’s been exhausting, challenging, and very short of the reward usually felt teaching in the classroom. And while I am currently on maternity leave, soaking up every single second with baby boy, I have partnered up with ViewSonic to share their ViewBoard Pen Display and 8 hacks for teaching in a pandemic. As a teacher myself and human who believes in encouraging and supporting others, I hope these 8 hacks for teaching in a pandemic can inspire you to start the school year off strong.
First things first, the current situation is most definitely not ideal, but please know YOU CAN ABSOLUTELY DO THIS! Teachers are amazing! Always having to adjust and find new ways to do something, the one occupation that knows how to thrive in the midst of all the things ever changing. So no matter what kind of crazy you are starting the new school year with, know and absolutely believe that you can do this!
All teachers know this to be true. The one piece of advice exclaimed through every single level of college education courses, “Be flexible!” You can make plans, but plans change and this has never been more evident in the classroom and that was even before the dreaded date in March 2020. Now more than ever, teachers must hold true to the tried and true advice learned through our degrees. Yes, be flexible. Make a plan, but don’t fall apart when the plan does too. Just take a deep breath, extend endless amounts of grace, and try again tomorrow! Don’t ever forget, that you were made to do hard things, and you too can do this!
When faced with the virtual or hybrid classroom, teachers have no choice but to use technology. My encouragement and advice to make teaching in a pandemic easier is to not just use technology, but to use it to your advantage. The best way to do so is by incorporating a second display screen to help simplify all the daily tasks of a teacher. I am so excited to introduce and share View Sonic’s ViewBoard Pen Display. A must-have tool for the teacher in the classroom and beyond and a must-have hack for teaching in a pandemic.
ViewSonic’s ViewBoard Pen Display is a revolutionary tool for the classroom. In a current world full of chaos and uncertainty, especially within the walls of education, ViewSonic’s ViewBoard Pen Display absolutely makes it easier for teachers to navigate teaching in a pandemic. By providing instructors of education with a secondary display that can easily connect to either a Windows or Mac OS desktop, the learning environment can be transformed instantly to better engage and connect the students to teacher.
The ViewBoard Pen Display is portable and light-weight, easy to transport to and from the classroom which is a necessity given the educator’s concern for contact tracing and quarantine. Additionally, the pen display is easy to connect, no calibration required, making it an essential tool for digital instruction whether in the physical classroom or the temporary, home-created one.
Just because the classroom may not look like it usually does, that does not mean you can’t keep your normal routines. By using a digital whiteboard, you can keep a sense of normal and maximize classroom engagement. Whether it is to display an agenda, facilitate a review, or lead discussion questions, a digital whiteboard can help foster normalcy among the crazy.
By using technology to your advantage, teachers can hack the pandemic through utilizing several apps that are all compatible with ViewSonic’s ViewBoard Pen Display to make lectures interactive and engaging. Whether you already use the ViewBoard platform for digital instruction, or just want to supplement by using the second display screen with PowerPoint, Whiteboard, or Adobe Illustrator. The opportunities for interactive and engaging lectures are endless.
Another way to utilize the ViewBoard Pen Display is to use the second display to model scholarly behavior and clearly define expectations. By using the second screen, documents can easily be shared to both you and the students. Combine that with the annotations through the stylus, teachers can demonstrate annotations, highlights, or model the correct problem solving to a math problem all before the eyes of every student watching the screen. The ViewBoard Pen Display allows for every type of instruction to be innovative, inclusive and engaging.
Finally, the final hack for teaching in a pandemic, is to do what you can to make your life easier. And by utilizing a second screen with the ViewBoard Pen Display, teachers can optimize classroom engagement for all students, whether in person or online. Through having an extra screen, teachers are able to monitor both the online classroom participation and resources at the same time, thus optimizing management and instruction.
Thank you to ViewSonic for gifting me with the ViewBoard Pen Display to feature in this blog post. While I am receiving compensation for this feature, all thoughts and ideas are my own. As a secondary education teacher and survivor of teaching through a pandemic, both completely virtual and through a hybrid means, I feel equipped to share my thoughts on strategies to use in the classroom with the ViewBoard Pen Display to make teaching during a pandemic a little easier. And to all my teachers out there, I wish you the absolute best in the 2021-2022 school year, please know that you are absolutely capable and can do this, no matter the kind of crazy it could get. For additional back to school inspiration be sure to check out my favorites with Walmart for the new school year.