During this 2020, we, teachers and educational leaders, were forced to jump into emergency remote teaching from one day to the other. 

The situation for 2021 is not the same. In this case, we have all the experience and knowledge we gained in 2020 to act as back up of our decisions in 2021. We have learnt a lot in many different areas, for example: We have found out how to catch our learners’ interest and attention in remote teaching, we have adapted resources and materials, we have discovered many different platforms for synchronous online teaching, we even enjoyed preparing materials for asynchronous teaching and learning, as recording videos and audio texts.  As a result of the process we went through in 2020 we have collected enough experience to feel more confident to design and create innovative teaching and learning strategies and resources for 2021. 

I am quite sure that next year we will have a combination of teaching and learning contexts, and in my opinion each of them has some pros and cons I want to share with you:

Face-to-face With Social DistancingRemote TeachingSynchronous and Asynchronous Hybrid Teaching /
Blended Learning
COMMUNICATION richer understanding through teacher and other students’ body language and voice.The use of body language and voice in asynchronous teaching is not  spontaneous. However, in well designed videos, they might be much more effective to facilitate communication.Teachers create different channels to allow effective and timely communication with leanrers. 
In either of these contexts, experienced teachers will take advantage of both contexts, online and face-to-face to allow learners dive freely in both contexts and from one context to the other,  to make the most of the teaching and learning situation. 
Teachers will have the opportunity to use the most effective aspect of each contexts, online and face-to-face  and organise the lessons around and successful combination of teaching strategies and techniques. 
TIME Time constraints. Learners have a given time to show up in the class or they miss it . Assignments in face-to-face lessons offer very short time to reflect, share, think and collaborate with peers. Learners can revisit the content as many times as they want. They have more time to address the different tasks and activities. 
FLEXIBILITYMore Flexible: in Asynchronous context, learners can choose when to participate. In synchronous, learners can watch the recording of the synchronic lesson as many times as they want. 
INTERACTION WTH PEERSMore spontaneous interaction, Allows more shy learners to participate as the teacher might have better control of the participation of more dominant learners. Gives  learners time to reflect in Asynchronous participation. 
FEEDBACKMore immediatelack of visual feedback is a common challenge for teachers.
DIFFERENTIATIONTeachers are much more subject to time restrictions and therefore tend to use the “one size fits all” principle with subtle adaptations. Allows teachers to assign different tasks or activities to the different learners according to their interests and developmental stage. 
FOSTER LEARNING COMMUNITIES Group cohesion is stronger. Harder to foster. Social Bonds turn weaker in Remote Learning.  
TEACHER CONTROL AND  LEARNER AUTONOMYTeachers have more control on what is happening in the classroom. Learners tend to be more dependent on the teacher. Learners have mote time and opportunities to develop skills for self learning.Learners are more responsible for deciding when and where they will devote time to learning and access resources. 

I hope this helps you find more support in your future lessons. I am quite sure you do not know yet which exactly will be the context in which you and your learners will be working next year, but I may say, without the need of a fortune teller, that it will be mostly online. If you are lucky, maybe you are allowed to do some Blended Learning which would be absolutely fantastic! Don’t you think so? 

Please share your thoughts, ideas and queries with us, we need to strengthen our professional communities. We need support from each other. Stay tuned! 

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