Learning from home

Today, in the state of Florida, it is the first day of school after spring break, but because of the current pandemic, things are a little different: it is the first day of school online.

For many teachers, this will be a whole new experience and for the kids as well, but kids adapt easily, and the teachers will have to learn how to handle a team online.

I’m a software engineer, and working from home is part of the routine, which lately, because of the pandemic, working from home has been the daily reality. I lead a team remotely, and that is no easy thing, here are my best tips for all the parents and teachers out there that are facing this new reality.

Communication and Collaboration

The main challenge of working remotely with a team is communication; therefore, you must use tools to facilitate it. First, set up a channel of communication. That will be the leading app or form that you will be talking with everyone. Apps like Zoom or Microsoft Teams are great for that. In the case of Broward, Canva seems to be the chosen form of communication. Also, select the 2nd form of communication. This is for the longer and more formal things. Email is usually the best choice for this.

Now comes the 2nd hardest challenge, controlling the communication. Still, for that, there is a tool from software engineering that is easy to use and helps wonders. It is called the Daily Standup.

On the daily standup, a moderator, in this case, the teacher, will be asking everyone on the team (students) to go one by one, spending 1 minute tops, on what he/she worked on yesterday, today and will be working tomorrow. More importantly, if there are any blockers or issues. The intent is to find out any problem areas and address them after the meeting.

Organization

Administrating anything is not easy and, keeping things organized is even harder, so this is my tip for parents and students out there. Use a Kanban board to control priorities and progress of what has been done.

The Kanban board is straightforward. It consists of 3 lanes: Todo, doing, and one. Just like this example here:

On the top of the todo lane, you add the work that is a priority, and you move each task being done to their respective lane until it is done.

These tools are straightforward to use, and I hope it helps everyone that is, like myself, a little bit overwhelmed with this new reality.

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