The school year is beginning, and many students are learning remotely.

What does this mean?

Remote learning can take many forms, but the main idea is that the teacher and the students are not in the same room during teaching and learning. Byte Author Uploaded Image

What Will It Look Like?

Remote learning takes two forms.

  • Synchronous

  • Asynchronous

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But what do these terms mean?


Synchronous means that the teacher and students are meeting at the same time. They are “in sync.” This may or may not involve videoconferencing (such as with Google Meet or Zoom). Examples include:

  • Teacher explaining concept to the entire class.

  • Small groups working through problems together.

  • Class watching a video while commenting together in the chat.


This means that the teacher and students are not working together at the same time. They are not "in sync."

Examples include:

  • Students use a website such as Khan Academy or Google Classroom to watch videos and complete problems.

  • Students read a physical or e-book.

  • Students use packets provided by their school to access resources and complete work.

While your child may have synchronous meetings with their teacher, they will probably also have asynchronous work.


If my child meets with their teacher once a day live on video, and also completes work alone, what kind of remote learning is my child doing?

How Do I Prepare?

Your child may be continuing remote learning that began in the spring, so you may already have idea of how to prepare. Trust yourself! Take some time to think about what worked, what didn’t work, and how you can adjust for the fall. But how else can you prepare? Use the Where, What, Who, When, How, and Why below.


Children need:

  • A space to learn. If you can, dedicate a desk or table for this. If not, a clipboard can offer a flat surface for writing.

  • A place to sit. This should be the right size for your child. A 5-year-old in a big office chair will not be comfortable!

  • A quiet space. Your student will need to focus on lessons and work, so if possible, keep the room where they are learning free of extra sound. This can also be accomplished with a pair of headphones if they are meeting synchronously with their teacher.

  • A place with light. Whether students can use natural light or a lamp, their work space should be well-lit.

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Students need:

  • A way to get their school’s resources and teaching. This may mean a laptop, tablet, or a packet provided by the school.

  • Log-in information and a list of programs.  If your child needs a laptop or tablet, they also need the login information for any programs their school uses.

  • A schedule. Your child will get a schedule from their school. Posting this will help keep both your child and on on track.

  • Basic supplies. Such as paper, pencils, scissors, or other age-appropriate supplies.

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Grown-ups and kids can work together to get the learning space set up. Discuss what is needed with both older and younger students. Letting them think through what they need will help give them a sense of power.

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If possible, prepare the school space in advance, so your child can get used to it. But if school has already started for your child, it is never too late to make changes! Try new things and see how they work. 

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This might not be the year you or your child wanted it to be. The way we deal with these challenges sets the tone for our children. If we react with frustration and anger, they will too. If we stay calm and make the best of the situation, they will follow our lead.

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Why do this? Because you have to! Well, that’s not a great reason. The “why” is because you want your child to have a great year. You are already showing you support your child by reading this Byte. You will do great!


Where is a good place for my child to do their school work?

Take Action

While this isn't the year many of us expected or wanted, we have the chance to make the best of it.

What will you do first to get your child ready for remote learning?

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