Illustration by Edpuzzle Staff
Picture this: the flu that’s been running rampant in your school has finally caught up to you and even though you can barely stand, you end up dragging yourself to work because you don’t have the time or energy to get sub plans together.
Has this ever happened to you before?
While you might be feeling the pressure not to let down your students or admins, deep down you know that when you’re too sick to teach, the best place for you to be is at home.
This is where educational technology comes in. Edtech can help you bank plenty of easy sub plans that will keep you out of the classroom when you’re contagious and keep your students, admins and sub happy!
Here’s how to use Edpuzzle to create easy sub plans so you can stay at home resting and recovering where you belong.
Using Edpuzzle to Create Easy Sub Plans
When it comes to using edtech to your benefit, Edpuzzle can be a powerful ally. An online platform where you can take any online video and turn it into an interactive lesson, Edpuzzle allows you to create content ahead of time that’s all ready to go whenever you need it.
At a glance, having your students use Edpuzzle while you’re out sick is like placing a hidden camera in the classroom. If you’re up to it, you can even log in on your laptop and see in real time who’s completed your video lessons as well as their results – instant gratification!
In addition to helping you flip your classroom, Edpuzzle is great for making easy sub plans that also double as your regular lesson plans, so students won’t be learning less just because you’re not there.
It also makes recycling content from year to year a breeze. Once you’ve made your video, you can keep it to use over and over again!
Here are the steps to follow to create your easy sub plans with Edpuzzle:
Step #1: Create your free Edpuzzle account.
If you’re not already set up with Edpuzzle, start there. After all, getting started with Edpuzzle only takes 10 minutes!
Step #2: Start your library of video lessons.
The next step is the fun part: exploring and creating content! Search from popular channels like National Geographic, TED Talks or Crash Course (or record your own video), and add questions and audio to check for comprehension.
Step #3: Plan your lessons at least a week in advance.
By making sure you’ve put together your lesson plans at least a week in advance, you’ll never have to worry about getting together sub plans in a hurry again. Make sure you have all your videos ready to go, so all your students have to do is log in to Edpuzzle and start watching.
Step #4: Set expectations with your students.
It’s crucial that your students know what’s expected of them on the days they have a sub. This will help quash any potential behavior issues as well as make sure that your students’ learning isn’t interrupted when you’re not there. Teach them where to find their assigned video lessons (Edpuzzle) and instructions for the day (your LMS, projected on the smartboard, etc.), and it should be smooth sailing!
Bringing Your Sub Plans to Life
Once you’ve got your basic game plan in place for your sub plans, there are plenty of ways you can spice them up.
The first thing you can have your sub do is use Edpuzzle’s Live Mode to review videos you’d already assigned. Check the homework by going live, which means the video will be projected on your screen at the front of the room while students answer on their own devices. Their results will be saved so you’ll be able to see how your students did!
Another option is to assign a student project on Edpuzzle, which means that students will have to find or record their own videos on the topic of your choice. This is a great way to encourage research and independent thinking, and students will have to add their own questions and narration if they choose. If the videos are done well, you can even use them in your other classes!
A different way to incorporate technology into your sub plans is with a webquest, or an online scavenger hunt in other words. If you prepare one of these for each unit or chapter of your subject, when you need to take a sick day, you’ll have everything all ready to go.
You can also incorporate a webquest into Edpuzzle by adding external links to your questions and comments in your video lesson, which could be a slideshow presentation walking students through the webquest. It’s a great way to teach students about reputable online sources!
Finally, if your class is responsible enough to handle it while you’re not there, a station rotation is a good option, especially if you have limited devices to work with in class. Pre-select your rotation groups and choose a student captain for each group, who should be responsible for setting up the stations.
Try having one with tablets or laptops to use Edpuzzle, one for practical exercises to apply their knowledge, and one for essay writing. What will subs love about the station rotation model? It makes class time fly by!
Best Practices for Your Sub Plans
Most schools have their own protocols in place about what to do when you need a sick day, like who to turn your sub plans in to, who needs to find the sub and who will give your plans to the sub when they arrive.
If you don’t have any guidelines like these in place, you’ll need to enlist the help of your teacher bestie! Pick a buddy that you can send your sub plans to (and vice versa) when you’re sick, and who won’t mind printing them out and setting them on your desk for your sub to find. For the sake of convenience, your classroom neighbor is always a good choice!
Another best practice is to designate a couple of your students as tech support helpers for those times when they have a sub. These students should be able to set up your projector if needed and help troubleshoot any problems with the technology they’ll be using in class.
This will make sure that the class doesn’t get hung up on any technical difficulties and that your sub doesn’t get frustrated either.
So, now that you know how easy sub plans can be, the next time you’re too sick to get out of bed, stay home and rest easy!