Distance Learning

Deliver equitable, engaging, and student-centered instruction and create supportive learning communities in a remote or hybrid model

About Distance Learning

Distance learning is new for many, but it doesn't have to be intimidating. Online, blended, and flexible learning environments engage students and build content mastery. 

There are many interlocking pieces that must be navigated to create an effective distance learning experience. You have to consider equity (Do all of my students have access to the learning?), engagement (Are my learning activities both interesting and effective?), logistics (How will my students access the content?), impact (How will I assess my students' learning?), parent involvement (How can I partner with parents from afar?), and more. 

In order to create an effective distance learning experience for students, we believe that it is key to keep the solution in mind: in this case, a learning experience that is engaging, meaningful, and effective for students.

If you've recently made a transition to distance learning or are planning for it, you are likely wondering about some of the following:

  • Equity: How can I ensure that all learning activities are accessible to all students? How will I support students with special needs, without reliable access to devices and the internet, or with limited English proficiency?

  • Meaningful learning: How can I ensure a culture of high expectations and academic rigor continues despite the disruption of normal learning activities and classroom culture? 

  • Logistics: How do I figure out the tools, resources, and skills I need to facilitate effective and engaging distance learning? 

  • Community: How can I connect and communicate on a personal level with my students from afar, and build in opportunities for collaboration and community between students?

Fortunately, successful implementation of distance learning presents exciting opportunities for both teachers and students. 

  • Personalization: The availability of high-quality digital content, online tools, and adaptive softwares makes it possible for teachers to be more responsive in real-time to individual students' needs. Digital assessment tools can help teachers easily identify trends and design customized supports and growth opportunities for students. 

  • 21st-Century skills: Distance learning gives students practice with crucial real-world skills such as using new technology, managing their time independently, and collaborating virtually with peers and instructors. 

  • Teacher and student role: In a distance learning setting, the teacher role shifts to that of a coach/facilitator, rather than a "sage on the stage", which can lead students to feel more ownership over their learning and growth. 

  • Creativity: The innovation required to shift to distance learning draws on teachers' creativity, encourages experimentation, and teaches new ways of delivering content. 

  • Flexibility: By blending both synchronous and asynchronous learning activities, and providing students with choice over their activities, pacing, and demonstration of mastery, teachers can provide flexibility for students and families that allows them to maximize their own learning.

BetterLesson is building on more than a decade of expertise in virtual professional development to offer urgent support to teachers and leaders around the country as they rapidly shift to supporting students at a distance. Through student-centered pedagogy, experienced coaches and high-quality instructional materials, we help educators move from ideas to action. 

Featured Strategies

Students receive timely, personalized, and actionable feedback as teachers utilize digital assessment tools
Students receive timely, personalized, and actionable feedback as teachers utilize digital assessment tools
Creating a backchannel and empowering students to own it requires careful planning but helps to build a student-centered classroom culture
Creating a backchannel and empowering students to own it requires careful planning but helps to build a student-centered classroom culture
Teacher-created learning videos support students to work at their own pace, with personalized embedded supports and checks for understanding
Teacher-created learning videos support students to work at their own pace, with personalized embedded supports and checks for understanding

Growth Areas

BetterLesson growth areas are targeted goals for growth in a learning domain through BetterLesson Coaching. Learn more about BetterLesson Coaching.
I ensure equitable access to remote learning by building systems and supports into my content and delivery that meet the needs of all learners.
I organize class materials in a way that allows students to easily access and submit relevant resources, learning activities, and assignments from home.
I communicate regularly with students and families to ensure they know the expectations for distance learning, are aware of their own learning progress, and receive personalized feedback.
I create and implement clear and consistent routines, norms, and expectations that support a productive and positive culture of remote learning, strengthen students' digital competency, and foster a productive community.
I design both synchronous and asynchronous remote learning tasks that are engaging, accessible, and provide formative data on student understanding.

How BetterLesson Can Help

We provide personalized, continuous support to help teachers and instructional leaders make growth towards their professional goals.
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