Preparing for the 2020-2021 school year? Make sure you’re ready to go for the Fall! Edvotek shares our best pro tips for in-person & distance learning experiments & teaching virtually.
Hi everyone! Summer vacation has just begun, but we know that it’s never too early to get ready for the upcoming school year. We’ve been hearing from a lot of concerned teachers already preparing for this coming Fall. Hopefully, we can ease your worries in the laboratory!
For in-person experiments:
- Make sure your equipment is ready to go for the fall. If there is a problem with your Edvotek® equipment, call us at 1-800-EDVOTEK or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get it fixed and back to you in no time!
- Forget how to use your equipment? New to a technique? Consult our video libraryor join us for a Biotechnology Training Live Stream! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for alerts and reminders.
- Order your experiments as you do every year. We will not ship perishables until they are requested, even if it is following school year! If things change during the school year, and in-class teaching has to be put on hold, our perishables have a long shelf life so they will be ready for you later in the school year.
For distance learning:
- Try live-streaming experiments! An old cell phone, when hooked up to an inexpensive gooseneck phone holder, can be used as a webcam focused on your hands while you’re performing the experiment.
- We offer Edvotek® MyLab™ kits for distance learning! Kits can be delivered to the school for pick-up or right to the students’ homes. We also developed a series of Edvotek® At Home Distance Learning Activities which teach the basics of Edvotek’s labs through worksheets, videos, and presentations.
For in-person classes:
These guidelines will vary based on your state and locality. Be sure to follow the recommendations of your administration. Below is some basic advice to keep you and your students safe.
- Wash hands often with soap and water if your classroom has a sink. If you cannot wash hands, set up a hygiene station with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Practice social distancing if possible.
- Wear protective masks. If unable to wear a protective mask, a plastic face shield blocks respiratory droplets as well.
- Avoid touching face – the eyes, nose, and mouth are vulnerable to infection.
- If you are teaching smaller sections, you can split your Edvotek® kit for multiple lab sections. Most kits will have this detailed in the Instructors guide, but if any questions arise be sure to reach out to an Edvotek® Technical specialist by phone or email.
- Edvotek® experiments have set stopping points throughout the protocols. For most kits, the experiments can be paused for several days between modules. Be sure to refer to the Instructors guide or contact our specialists for advice.
For teaching online:
- Identify videos and resources that can help you teach. While you may decide to record some of your own lectures and tutorials, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel! There is a lot of excellent content on the internet already. We recommend starting with Khan Academy, the Amoeba Sisters, and our own Video Library!
- Prepare a variety of lessons. To add variety to your course, lessons can be synchronous (performed at the same time) and asynchronous (performed independently).
- Try ‘flipping’ your online classroom. Introduce students to the content through pre-recorded videos, readings, and exercise. Use the video conferencing time for discussion and clarification of the content.
- Blend independent and group lessons. Try assigning a reading and a video that the students will watch on their own. To encourage engagement, determine student groups and assign a question which the students will discuss via chat and prepare an answer. Then, bring it together through a video call where the student groups can share their ideas in a class discussion.
- Try an Edvotek® MyLab™ experiment! Students perform the experiment on their own, upload result pictures to your learning management system, and then you can discuss the results on a video call.
We hope this helps you think about ways to plan for the 2020-21 school year! Please reach out to an Edvotek® Technical Support Specialist at 1-800-EDVOTEK or email us at email@example.com if you have any questions.