graphic of distance learning

Areas of Impact

Professional Development

Age Group



30 minutes


As needed

Distance Learning from a Student Perspective - Presentation


You’re working your butt off: rewriting curriculum, making videos, hosting zoom lessons, calling home, answering emails from students at all hours of the day and night. Distance teaching isn’t for the faint of the heart. But it isn’t easy for those tasked with doing the distance learning, either. If you’re finding that your students are struggling or are hard to keep in touch with, this PD exercise may help by inviting you to spend time in your online classrooms from the perspective of a student.


This activity is best done in a fairly large group (at Gateway, it was an all-faculty meeting), and will take a little bit of advance preparation: you’ll need to set up several dummy accounts on Google Classroom (or whatever learning platform your school is using) and “enroll” them in a standard course load. Small teams of teachers will then “shadow” the student – surveying a day or week as a student would to get a sense of what works well and what is confusing.