Definition of resource – noun (Source)
1a: a source of supply or support
e: a source of information or expertise
3: a possibility of relief or recovery
Classrooms all across our state, and across our nation, are once again having to transition into a hybrid or distant learning model of instruction. This transition requires a different approach and different resources than the traditional face-to-face model in order to be effective.
Ever since the first transition to distant learning this spring, educational organizations across the country have been creating, curating, and showcasing tools and methods to assist teachers in making the needed changes to distant learning. The TCOE has had an ongoing and increasing number of resources available for teachers. Other organizations such as the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System are also curating new resources, while other resources, such as those from the US Department of Labor, have been there for some time, but have been seriously underutilized in many cases. This article hopes to showcase some of the available resources to encourage their use, and to aid instructors in the transition to distant learning.
As mentioned, the TCOE has continued to add to, enhance, and improve our educator resources. These resources are now divided into secondary and post-secondary resources, but both range from offering classroom activities, lesson plans, and industry standards, to videos, and electronic textbooks
Of special note is the TCOE option to teach for a day. Many teachers are looking for options to fill in topics or to address needs of a substitute teacher. The TCOE has several options that can help.
- Virtual Class Presentations – interactive and engaging presentations for your classes to discuss college and career options in transportation and other trades. For more information on this, please contact our Director of Outreach, Steve Hoemberg firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Exploring Careers Assignment – Utilizing our web page, students will explore careers in transportation, college options, and scholarship opportunities.
- Virtual Industry Tours – We know field trips are difficult, so we’ve decided to bring them to your classroom! After taking the virtual tour ask your students to complete our exploration-based worksheet for an easy and thought-provoking assignment.
- Can I Borrow That? – During a time where we can’t provide outreach like we used to, this program allows educators across the state of Minnesota to borrow equipment, tools, and simulators that they normally wouldn’t have access to. View Here
The Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System have also teamed up, along with assistance from the 8 Centers of Excellence, to create their own database (the OLRC). While each of the Centers of Excellence will concentrate on industry-specific resources, the MDE/Minnesota State resources will be more general in nature. This new database can be located here. Topics covered by this new site include:
- Online Learning Pedagogy
- Online Learning Technologies
- Online Learning Instructional Content (by CTE discipline)
A reoccurring item that you may notice in our Online Learning Resource Center (OLRC) is SkillsCommons. SkillsCommons is an educational resource database created by the US Department of Labor (DOL) which is the culmination of about $1.9Billion in DOL grants over an 8-year period. The grants were used to create and catalog free and open educational resources related to job-driven workforce development. Over 700 community colleges have contributed to this educational database. The database is far-reaching and inclusive of virtually any industry and topic. A searchable link to the database can be found here. The database has been around long before COVID hit, but covers many topics related to COVID impacts such as “distance learning” (4,293 different entries on the topic), “making videos” (1,520 entries), and “online course development” (11,404 entries) to name a few.
Whether the resource was created due to COVID, is recently coming online, or has been around for years, they key is to do some proper research, find some resources that work for you, and use them to help you create the best distance learning model you can, then continue to assess your model, look for ways to improve it, continue to improve what you do, and assist others along in their journey to create their model of education. Know that we at the TCOE are always here to assist you in any way we can. Stay safe, and be creative.