Friday, August 7, 2020

Digital Wellness in a Remote Learning World


I am not a medical professional, just a technology teacher who worked 10-12 hours a day at home at the start of the pandemic using multiple devices at one time to support teachers and help them be successful in remote learning. However, I do feel that especially during the pandemic, digital wellness is more important than ever. 

In my opinion, we need to practice more self-care acts so that we avoid fatigue, burn-out, and the negative effects of screen time. Plus, not interacting with people normally, and not socialization with friends and teachers face to face can take a negative impact on a person too.

Pay attention to your body!

Again, it is extremely important to pay attention to your body while staying connected during the day. During my time working from home, I was experiencing the following:

  • headaches

  • eye strain or bloodshot eyes

  • back and neck pain

  • shoulder pain

  • discomfort in my hands

  • stiffness

  • fatigue


Here are a few tips I found worked for me:

  • Establish a routine

  • Have a dedicated and comfortable workspace

  • Take frequent breaks from the screen (look away from the monitor)

  • Dim the brightness of your screen to reduce eye strain.

  • Put your device in contrast mode so that the colors are inverted.

  • Ergonomics is key! Adjust your physical workspace so that you fit better into it. reference article

  • Get up from your seat and physically move around. Go outside for a quick walk or just walk around the house.

  • Meditate

  • Stretch, yoga, neck rolls, stretches with a band.

  • Set a timer for every 10 minutes to alternate a standing and sitting position.

  • Use voice typing tools when you can.

  • Powered off all my devices, including my cell phone in the evening. I needed time to disconnect from the tech totally.

Performing these steps and especially exercising helped with my pain and discomfort not to mention improved my mental health.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Templates and Remote Learning Awareness

I am gearing up for the upcoming school year, updating my resources and creating templates for teachers to use during their classes.  

One template I created was a GSuite Bingo Board.  This is a fun way to have your students to CREATE and assess their skills.  You can grab a copy of it here

Another template I created was an Activity Board Sequence Template, which guides students to complete activities in a sequential order. It leaves room for differentiate instruction.  Grab your copy of the template here.

I also created a  generic Choice Board template which will allow you to add your creativity to it.  Grab a copy of it here

The final template I created was the 1-2-3 Remote Learning Choice Board.  This template allows you to keep things simple! Remember, the student learning is the goal, not the tech tool.  I would also express that you use familiar technology tools so that it is not overwhelming for you or the student. 

Please use and revise this template accordingly.  Grab a copy of it here

Step 1:  Learn! 
Allow students to read/watch about a concept.

Step 2:  Do!  
Allow students to show what they know, via assessment or through sparking creativity.  Allow them to CREATE!

Step 3:  Meet! 
Conference with students in whole group or small group to receive and provide feedback.  This will support SEL, relationships, and community building.

You can visit my Remote Learning Awareness website for more templates and information.

Please subscribe to my show, The Suite Talk on YouTube and on your favorite podcast platform.

Need assistance with Google Classroom?  Check out my new book, Stepping up to Google Classroom, co-authored with Alice Keeler. It is the most up to date book out on the market and it targets beginners on getting started with Google Classroom.  It is available for purchase on Amazon. Bulk purchases are available at Dave Burgess Consulting website.