Resources for virtual teaching

Coronavirus_online resources_thumbTo slow the spread of the coronavirus, schools across the country are closing campuses and moving to remote teaching. We’ve compiled a list of online resources to help journalism educators make this transition.

This video conferencing system is a popular choice for classes needing to meet remotely. Staffs can easily set up a private meeting link with team members, remotely connecting through video. If you’re interested in other virtual meeting options, here’s a list of 10 free conferencing tools.

20 Foster_Zoom coronavirus
As schools extend spring breaks and suspend in-class instruction, yearbook staffs like the Talon at Foster High School are using Zoom to stay in touch and coordinate coverage. Photo by Danielle Bell

Poynter Institute
Poynter offered a free webinar last week to help teachers learn how to teach virtually on short notice. The one-hour class, which is available for replay, focused on strategies to communicate effectively and adapt lesson plans for online instruction. Poynter’s News University also has 100-plus interactive journalism courses available on their site (click the “Free” tab to search for only free webinars and self-directed courses).

Journalism Education Association
This national journalism organization, which has curriculum for JEA members, has released a library of free journalism-related activities that can be used as distance learning lessons.

Student Press Law Center
The SPLC has gathered a number of their media law resources, including presentations, quizzes, webinars, legal guides and fact sheets. Also, the center is offering free virtual lessons with SPLC experts. The sessions, which are up to 40-minutes and include Q&A time, can focus on one of four options: press freedom, copyright, FOI and public records, or libel and defamation.

The New York Times’ The Learning Network
Utilizing Times content, The Learning Network offers weekly prompts to practice reading, writing and thinking. Featuring 12 new prompts each week, the topics are derived from Times articles, photos, graphics and videos. After creating an account, students will be able to share their thoughts and reply to other comments. The Times will select comments to spotlight in a weekly roundup.

PBS News Hour Extra
PBS has gathered teaching resources for distance learning, including lesson plans, blogs and videos. Their two-minute news wrap activities are another great resource for keeping students thinking and engaged.

PBS News Hour Extra_news wrap activities

PBS NewsHour offers a daily two-minute video with focus questions and an additional extension activity for students.

Ditch That Textbook
Focused on meaningfully using technology and keeping students engaged, this blog offers videos, e-books guides, templates and a weekly podcast.

Share My Lesson
This lesson sharing website has created a comprehensive list of resources, organizing it by age group and topic. They encourage educators to share additional lesson plans, handouts and resources.

SIPA USC Pinterest page
The Southern Interscholastic Press Association, a nonprofit journalism organization supporting publications and programs of the Southeast, has added 40-plus pins of digital tools and e-learning lessons.

Canva Design School
Canva’s Design School offers free tutorials, including a series of 12 videos on graphic design basics.

Digital Photography School
This website offers photography guides, tips, tutorials and weekly challenges.

Professional Photographers of America
This national organization is providing access to more than 1,100 online classes for the next two weeks. Advisers can make a free account to access the content. Please keep in mind, some classes are not intended for young audiences.

Library Copyright Specialists: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research information
This public statement from Library Copyright Specialists will help educators understand what materials they can fairly use. Although it is written for higher education, the same principles will apply for fair usage with virtual teaching at the middle and high school levels.

Need more?

In addition, here are hundreds of educational resources compiled by the Facebook group Amazing Educational Resources. A second group, Educator Temporary School Closure for Online Learning, has been established for educators planning distance learning during school closures.

And of course, don’t forget the entire Balfour Curriculum is available online at StudioBalfour with lesson plans, slideshows and handouts. There are also additional PowerPoints in the Teaching Resources of the Education tab. There are more than 40 different slideshows on writing, design, photography, theme and staff management.

StudioBalfour_PowerPoints slideshows


In addition, don’t forget to check the Balfour Blog for ideas and resources to help your staff with coronavirus coverage and finishing your book.

We’ve also created a shared space on Google Drive  for coverage and layout ideas, staff management ideas and more.

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