Helping students to learn and manage their digital learning environment is as important as supporting them in setting up their digital study spaces and routines. While the technology is not the end goal, it is the means by which most students will learn both in class and remotely.
Providing your students direct instruction and resources on how to learn and manage their digital environment will help them be successful in leveraging the technology to support their learning. It is beneficial to invest time during the first days of school to teach your students the digital skills and routines needed for learning in your classroom.
Knowing how to use and manage their device, internet browser, and learning management system are some of the foundational digital skills that students need.
First, students need to be comfortable with the device they will be using for learning. Teach them the essential skills related to operating and properly caring for their device.
Teach students how they can use their internet browser to pin tabs and create bookmarks (favorites) to manage their online resources. Many of the students’ learning resources are online: digital textbooks, production tools such as Google’s G Suite or Microsoft Office 365, learning management systems (Schoology, Canvas, or Moodle), and videoconferencing platforms (Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams), as well as other websites and online learning tools.
- Learning Management System (LMS)
Ideally, you have a learning management system you can use to communicate with your students, deliver content, collect evidence of learning, and provide your students feedback on that learning. Teach your students how to navigate this digital environment as well as how you have it structured for them to access their learning materials and to submit assignments.
See these digital environment flyers that you can copy, modify, and share with your students. The flyers include “I can” statements for the essential skills students need for using their device, browser, and LMS as well as links to resources they can use to learn these skills. There is a different flyer for each of the common school devices: Chromebook, iPad/MacOS, and Windows. The flyers are written with the older student as the intended audience; you can also reference these resources to design age-appropriate lessons and materials for teaching your younger students these skills.
One way you can engage students in this learning is to have them do scavenger hunts and/or challenges where they can reference the resources as needed to complete the activity that develops their essential skills. Students can use the 3B4T strategy and check off their skills on the flyer as they learn them. As you teach your students these foundational skills, also consider what assistive technology features are available to support and empower all your learners.
You may also want to share these flyers with families so they can support their learners at home, especially when students are learning in the remote and hybrid models. While the school-issued devices will have filters, your parents/guardians may find this resource from Common Sense Media helpful when their child is using personal devices: Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Parental Controls.