“Many teachers find it difficult to gauge how well students understand a lesson in an online classroom.” (Youki Terada, 8/5/2020)

This section is to focus your thoughts on the potential impact of online and virtual classrooms for a struggling reader. Not only do they face a reading challenge, but also the loss of interpersonal and visual cues for their learning.


1. Read the main part of the article on, Reading the Virtual Classroom Is Hard, but It Can Be Done by Youki Terada, that looks at the challenges of a teacher.

  • We ask you to consider how you might apply the techniques mentioned in the article to also help a struggling reader.
  • Add any ideas or questions to consider to your course artifact.

2. Feedback 

  • The author mentions the importance of 'Reading the Virtual Room,' and the impact of teachers being able to gauge how well students are following a lesson by ‘reading’ their expressions in a face to face classroom, versus teaching in a virtual course or session.
  • What are some take-aways from these ideas for your own practice?

3. Teaching Techniques

  • Address the types of feelings raised by the Students Count: Highlights from COVID-19 Student Surveys
  • Use techniques or technology tools to obtain feedback from your students to assess their SEL (social emotional learning level)
  • Use techniques or surveys address the needs and challenges of struggling readers
  • Provide brain and body breaks (perhaps every 30 minutes) during a virtual session
  • Chunk your lessons into shorter units
  • Lead calming or breathing exercises to help them settle down when returning from a break
  • Provide some 'open' virtual time for students to chat, goof around, talk and share to support social interactions

Explore at least one of the following that you are not familiar with:

Article: 3 Tech Tools for Distance Learning and Beyond that focuses on using PearDeck with Google slides (can be used with PowerPoint as well), Flipgrid, and Canva.

Some of these articles may interest you. We will add more over time.



We hope this section has been helpful as you consider how virtual courses and virtual sessions may impact all students, but especially struggling readers.

This concludes this self-paced module. Add your ideas to your course artifact, and create a plan with one or two specific next steps with a target goal and date.

Proceed to The Final Assignment page.