Ohio’s Remote Learning Resources
Remote Learning Resource Guide
During the Coronavirus Pandemic Ordered School-Building Closure
PDF Version of
Remote Learning Resource Guide
can be found here.
Originally released on April 1, 2020
On March 12, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine made an unprecedented announcement ordering all of Ohio's public, community and private K-12 school buildings to be closed to students due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented solutions. Fortunately, Ohioans have a rich history of collaborating, innovating and inventing to solve complex challenges. Ohio's partners in education are no exception. Since the ordered school-building closure began, the state's education community has stepped up to ensure student success. They continue to support the nutritional needs of the whole child by delivering meals and operating grab-and-go sites. Simultaneously, and without missing a beat, they are engaging students in authentic remote learning. The Ohio Department of Education applauds Ohio's educators, parents and caregivers who are partnering to deliver high-quality teaching and supplemental learning opportunities and Ohio's students who are applying themselves during one of the most challenging times of their generation.
This Remote Learning Resource Guide is designed to be a one-stop shop to help schools, educators, students, parents and caregivers consider how to approach and apply a comprehensive remote learning plan that enables each child to carry on learning during this time of social distancing.
This resource guide addresses the following:
Ohio’s education community, including students, parents and caregivers are up to this challenge. Working together—and with the appropriate social distancing—we plan to emerge from this experience stronger than ever.
Ohio's Core Principles for Remote Learning
Each Child, Our Future, Ohio’s five-year strategic plan for education (2019-2024), includes three core principles that drive its vision and goal for whole-child success: equity, partnerships and quality schools. When coupled with an overarching aim for high-quality remote learning in Ohio, the core principles of Each Child, Our Future naturally guide Ohio’s approach to remote learning.
Overarching Aim for High-Quality Remote Learning in Ohio. Remote learning should continuously support whole-child success and meaningful academic opportunities, while protecting the health and safety of students, parents, caregivers and educators. This is an overarching aim because it spans each of the following principles.
Action Step: Prioritize the health and safety of students, parents, caregivers and educators in locally developed remote learning plans.
Responding to Equity. Remote learning should be responsive to known equity issues. By definition (find details in the Defining and Deploying Remote Learning section), remote learning is a continuum of education delivery that can be both online and offline. The notion is that schools work with partners to identify a remote educational delivery approach that accommodates, as much as practicable, the unique situations of each child. Ohio’s known equity issues include:
Digital access: Some Ohio families lack access to digital resources, technology and the internet, which limits the availability of virtual learning. Local remote learning plans must consider and try to accommodate this reality.
Family engagement and resources: Not all families have the same resources to support their children through the pandemic. Many are dealing with job loss, food insecurity, increased health concerns and other stressors that will affect students’ abilities to learn at home. Families also might be challenged with adults working from home while trying to support students’ remote learning needs at home.
Students with disabilities: Current circumstances may introduce new challenges for educators as they work to provide students with disabilities with educational services closest to the manner prescribed within their individualized education programs. Some students may experience an interruption in the process of identification or the process of developing an individualized education program.
- High mobility students: Under normal circumstances, highly mobile students are at greater risk of falling through the cracks. This will not be an exception during the ordered school-building closure. At the same time, more students may experience high mobility as families deal with increased housing insecurity. The caring adults who work in Ohio’s schools should be attentive to this reality.
A special note about Ohio’s vulnerable1 student population: It is likely that Ohio’s most vulnerable students will be disproportionately affected by the pandemic for a variety of reasons. Vulnerable youth, including students experiencing homelessness or in foster care, justice-involved youth, students with disabilities, military families and English learners likely will face multiple challenges, many of which are referenced above. As we face these equity issues, we also must work together to be intentional about supporting students’ social, emotional and behavioral health and their academic success.
During this time, we also should seek to maintain meaningful connections among students, educators and other caring adults who work in schools. Ohio’s communities continue to innovate on this front. For instance, several schools have arranged regular virtual check-in sessions or telephone calls with students and families. These intentional efforts to make connections have a positive effect on students.
Action Step: Account for these known equity issues when creating locally developed remote learning plans to ensure each child is supported for success.
Leveraging Partnerships. Education is everyone’s business. This is even more true in a crisis. During Ohio’s ordered school-building closure, it is important that school leaders try to coordinate and co-design, as much as practicable, remote learning plans with educational service centers, information technology centers, state support teams, institutions of higher education, local businesses, philanthropies, social service organizations, community leaders, health care providers, behavioral health experts and other local partners. This approach will result in enhanced objectives and delivery of remote learning.
Action Step: Reach out to key local partners to co-design and deliver remote learning plans.
Maintaining Quality Schools. A quality school is a “place” where parents, caregivers, community partners and others interact and collaborate to enhance the learning experience of students. Direct human interaction facilitates authentic learning, which cannot be replaced easily by remote learning. We should not expect remote learning to replicate a traditional school day. However, we should, to the extent possible, develop coherent remote learning plans that support academic continuity for students.
Action Step: Locally developed remote learning plans should not try to replicate a traditional school day. Rather, they should consist of thoughtful instructional lessons or activities that recognize the continuum of remote learning (refer to
Figure 1 below) and strive to maintain the quality provided during normal times.
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Defining and Deploying Remote Learning
The goal of remote learning2 is to ensure learning continues even though school buildings are closed. Remote learning engages students through a variety of learning opportunities, which can be delivered online or offline. Remote learning does not just mean online learning. Technology certainly is a supportive tool for remote learning, but powerful remote learning can occur through thoughtful offline lessons that encourage students to explore the natural world and engage in interdisciplinary and artistic hands-on learning.3
For the purpose of this resource guide, remote learning means each student is experiencing a learning opportunity supported by a teacher or educator who is in a different location. Working in partnership with educational delivery partners, an educator might deliver instruction by using a device and checking in with students regularly. Remote learning also can include video or audio instruction delivered online or via television, video, telephone or another method that relies on computer or communications technology. It also may include use of printed, paper-based materials that incorporate assignments that engage and seek feedback from students.
Remote learning plans should not necessarily replicate a traditional school day—especially with regard to the daily schedule and timetable. Remote learning opportunities can be deployed in a flexible manner. Ultimately, students should be positioned to independently extend their learning with direction and guidance from their teachers. Special considerations need to be made for Ohio’s most vulnerable students, including students with disabilities, students for whom electronic mediums might not be developmentally appropriate (for example, preK and early grade students), students who are English learners and students who might not have access to technology.
Across Ohio, remote learning can be viewed as a continuum, as shown in the graphic below, depending on the unique circumstances of a school, its educational delivery partners and the connectivity, abilities, disabilities and ages of students. If possible, remote learning plans should include an array of learning opportunities that are both online and offline to accommodate these unique circumstances.
Following is a summary of each component of the continuum:
Teacher-student interaction through online learning platform: This option, when available, enables educators to engage with students frequently and consistently throughout the learning day using an online learning platform or learning management system. Examples of online learning platforms include Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, Zoom, etc. Educators can assign lessons while engaging with and supporting students through classroom discussions, online lessons and the completion of assignments.
Online lessons for students to work on at home: This option allows educators to present students with lessons they can complete independently or with the help of an available family member or caregiver outside of an online learning platform.
- Offline lessons and instructional packets for students: Remote learning plans can include thoughtful instructional packets (virtual or paper-based) and appropriate interdisciplinary, exploratory, hands-on activities. Screen time, if an option, should be balanced with learning that occurs offline and encourages student curiosity, discovery, and writing and journaling. Schools might have to exercise creativity when it comes to distributing instructional packets—perhaps with meal drop off and pickup at grab-and-go sites or through safe meeting sites. Educators should have some form of instructional communication loop with students and families.
Across components 1-3, educators should arrange regular check-ins with students—either in small or large groups—to provide ongoing feedback about the learning process. Additionally, educators should:
- Consider the needs of their students, including students with disabilities and individualized education program (IEP) services, when deciding the appropriate mode of instructional delivery. Please visit Considerations for Students with Disabilities During Ohio’s Ordered School-Building Closure for more details.
- Consider, when necessary, use of messaging tools that work across different devices and include features that enable interpretation and translation to help ensure equitable access for English learners.
Action Step: Apply a range of delivery options, including online and offline, to the extent practicable, in remote learning plans. Plan and coordinate lessons to build on the learning sequences already underway. Try to consider equity and the age and needs of each child when planning, including the needs of any students with disabilities, students who do not have internet access and English learners.
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Developing and Updating Remote Learning Plans
It’s important to have a plan to support remote learning. Like any good plan, the more it is co-designed by those who will be supporting and implementing it, the better. Educators, schools and key partners should consider the following points when developing and updating local remote learning plans:
If a school does not already have a remote learning plan in place, it should work with local partners to develop a coherent plan. Plans should consider local needs and build on existing strengths.
If a school already is implementing a remote learning plan, it should use this guide to sharpen and strengthen its plan as necessary.
Work closely with educational service centers, information technology centers, state support teams and other partners. ;
Consider short- and long-term learning goals for students.
Determine plans for helping teachers think through instructional sequencing and aligning instruction to Ohio’s Learning Standards.
Think through a framework for delivering remote instruction that uses a mix of options, as appropriate, identified in the remote learning spectrum introduced in Section II.
Consider plans for how educators collaborate, plan and engage together—consistent with appropriate social distancing—to build thoughtful instructional lessons.
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Consider the developmental appropriateness and age of the student, especially in the expectation to interact with technology. Younger children will need the help and support, and in some cases, the supervision or participation, of an adult.
Consider how to address each student’s individualized education program (IEP) and how to implement the student’s specially designed instruction.
- Consider how to best support English learners.
Existing Resources to Maximize Remote Learning
The following are offering digital resources designed to help schools plan and implement thoughtful remote learning opportunities.
- Ohio Management Council maintains a community dashboard called the Remote Learning Space that is maintained by Ohio educators. It includes the most up-to-date resources being used in schools across Ohio. It is organized by “Resources for Planning,” “Resources for Teachers,” “Resources for Students and Families” and “Zoom Training Videos and Resources.” The site also includes free, live webinars, sample guidelines and best practices for teachers and families.
- INFOhio, Ohio’s preK-12 digital library, contains resources that are aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards and organized by ages 3-5, grades K-5, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. It also features educator tools that include teacher-approved lesson plans, best practices, articles, websites and other instructional materials to support personalized learning, project-based learning and the inquiry process. The site also features professional learning, professional databases and school library services. Many learning activities can be completed remotely and online. ISearch is a single search box that enables users to search for any resources contained in INFOhio’s Integrated Library System.
- Ohio Ed Techs are providing additional services to support online teaching and learning. Professional learning videos, Pk-12 educational television schedule and links, as well as virtual office hours for educators are available to support remote learning.
- Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) provides a variety of resources and educational materials for teachers and educators of students with disabilities. This includes an online autism center, information on teaching diverse learners, family outreach, assistive technology resources and outreach center for deafness and blindness.
- PBS Learning at Home features a full schedule of curated daily educational programming geared to students in preK-12 from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each weekday. PBS LearningMedia offers free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans and more for teachers and families. In addition to PBS LearningMedia, resources are available to support students in preK-12 during the ordered school-building closure. PreK-12 Resources for Emergency Closings consists of instructional resources sorted by grade level and content area. Printable packets also are available to download. The site also is available with Spanish language content.
The following are digital resources that enable educators to upload or select lessons, create videos or hold virtual classes.
EdPuzzle - Educators can make any video a lesson. They can add questions and interactive activities to videos (online or that the user uploads). You also can search for free videos that have been created.
Google classroom - Google Classroom is a free web service developed by Google for schools that aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way. The primary purpose of Google Classroom is to streamline the process of sharing files between educators and students.
Google Hangouts - Google Hangouts provides a platform to connect with your team from anywhere. With easy-to-join video calls, you can meet face to face without actually having to travel.
Near Pod - (Grades K-12) Educators can assign an engagement experience and students will be given a code. These experiences can be self guided or teacher guided. Students are required to answer questions and prompts throughout the experiences at check points. There are premade lessons tied to national standards, or educators can create their own lessons based on their students’ current learning needs.
Ohio EdTech - This site contains videos supporting Ohio educators’ efforts in making the transition to online learning.
Zoom - To support virtual learning, ZOOM has offered a reduction in the cost of its educator subscription. This site provides resources on how to use ZOOM for virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following are offering non-digital resources designed to help families implement remote learning.
- STAPLES Office Supply Stores in Ohio are offering free printing of school packets. Retail stores are open and families that are unable to print their school packets at home may come to the printing services area of the store where STAPLES has computers available for use. You may access the documents from your school district site and print them out at the store. The link provides a directory of all STAPLES locations in Ohio.
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Identifying Internet Providers and Getting Connected
The following internet providers are offering free or reduced-priced services during the coronavirus pandemic crisis. This list was identified in partnership with InnovateOhio and Ohio Broadband Strategy.
Charter Communication, which operates under the brand Spectrum, is offering free internet and broadband, including in-home Wi-Fi, to new subscriber households with K-12 and/or college students, as well as teachers, for 60 days. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.
Free Spectrum Assist Service, with speeds of 30 mbps, is available for low-income families who are not already enrolled in the program. To be eligible, households must be recipients of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of NSLP or receive supplemental security income (for applicants ages 65+ only).
Free Spectrum Internet is available for any households with K-12 and/or college students or teachers who do not already have Spectrum Internet subscriptions.
Free self-installation kits will be provided for new subscriber households.
Spectrum will partner with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students learn remotely.
No data caps and no hidden fees.
AT&T is offering internet access for qualifying limited-income households at $10 a month through its Access from AT&T program. It is expanding eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start; providing two months of free service to new Access from AT&T subscribers; and providing free access to and unlimited usage of Caribou, a video calling application.
Comcast is making all Xfinity Wi-Fi Public Hotspots open to everyone on the “xfinitywifi” service set identifier. Public hotspots can be found in small/medium businesses and outdoors in commercial areas. Non-Xfinity subscribers need to accept the terms and conditions to access the network and repeat when requested to continue to receive free unlimited access. To find the hotspot in your area, enter your zip code at the following link: https://wifi.xfinity.com/.
Not sure which internet providers are available in your area? Visit https://www.inmyarea.com/ and type in your zip code to see which providers service your area.
The following companies have taken the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) pledge indicating they will not terminate service for failure to pay, will waive late fees and will open wi-fi hotspots to people who need them:
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Using Instructional Resources to Enhance Remote Learning
To support educators, parents and caregivers, following is a prioritized listing of quality instructional resources that may be used to supplement, as needed, remote learning plans. The resources have been identified because they:
Align to the major components of Each Child, Our Future, Ohio’s five-year strategic plan for education, including its four equal learning domains.
- Are consistent with Ohio’s Learning Standards.
- Have the potential to be implemented in remote learning environments.
- Include multiple options for content and grade-level instruction.
- Are free or offered at reduced costs during the pandemic.
- Can be applied to individualized education programs.
The remote learning resources are organized by content area. We first include links to Ohio’s Learning Standards and Model Curriculum and other instructional resources developed by the Ohio Department of Education. Following those links are the top four to six content-specific resources that align to the criteria above. We start by identifying resources for educators. Supplemental resources for parents and caregivers follow. Targeted grade bands are identified where possible.
The Ohio Department of Education recognizes the challenges educators, parents and caregivers are facing as a result of this public health crisis, and we stand ready to help. Please feel free to contact the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies if you have any questions or concerns by phone at (614) 466-0223 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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1 For the purposes of this document, Ohio’s vulnerable students are defined as those who might be significantly and adversely affected by the pandemic. This could include students who are in foster care, justice-involved youth, English learners, students experiencing homelessness, military families, students who lack technology and internet connectivity, and students with disabilities.
2 This document defines remote learning as learning that occurs when the learner and educator, or source of information, are separated by time and distance and, therefore, cannot meet in a traditional classroom setting. We use remote learning as a broader term that can include distance learning, online learning, virtual instruction or remote training. This document intentionally does not use the term distance learning, which is often internet-based instruction.
Last Modified: 6/6/2022 6:03:36 AM