K12 Language Education, Remote Language Learning

Developing Remote Learning Plans in a Time of Uncertainty

Since schools closed their doors in March, educators, schools, and districts have had to quickly adapt—adjusting lessons, learning new technology platforms, and finding new and creative ways to reach and support students.

In their white paper, How to Develop Scalable Remote Learning Plans: Using Familiar Frameworks to Sustain Instruction in Unfamiliar Circumstances, Liz Brooke and Suzanne Carreker refer to this initial period as the triage phase, as districts have worked to address issues ranging from ensuring students have meals to accessibility and connectivity. They’ve “used libraries and recreation centers as pick-up locations for school meals, parked buses equipped with mobile hotspots in neighborhoods with low connectivity, and set up video conference platforms for teachers to connect visually with their classes” (Brooke & Carreker, 2020, p. 5).

After meeting these initial needs, schools and districts have pivoted toward building scalable and sustainable plans for the year ahead.

Relying on proven frameworks can help

Although educators and administrators may feel like throwing out the old playbook and starting fresh, Brooke and Carreker caution against it, arguing that it’s more important now than ever to rely on proven frameworks and instructional strategies in order to create remote learning plans. 

So, how do districts move forward? Brooke and Carreker outline a four-phase approach in their white paper:

  1. Continue—emphasizes the importance of continuity of instruction even while schools are closed
  2. Adapt—acknowledges that adaptations will be needed in order for instruction to continue in a distance-learning environment
  3. Preserve—underscores that instructional standards can be perpetuated and high levels of learning can continue with proven online learning solutions
  4. Monitor—highlights the necessity of using data to inform decision-making and gauge progress toward goals

For the complete approach to creating and maintaining a scalable and sustainable remote learning plan, download the white paper.

The ultimate goal is educational equity

As schools and districts create remote learning plans, equity should always be top of mind, Brooke and Carreker remind us, whether it relates to digital access or to the same opportunities to learn. Achieving educational equity “requires a plan guided by a mission and vision, driven by data, built upon solid foundational frameworks, adaptable and scalable in the face of new circumstances, and able to undergo continuous progress monitoring” (Brooke & Carreker, 2020, p. 6).

Remote learning plans should also incorporate cultural responsiveness. In his paper, Guidance on Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Remote Education, David E. Kirkland suggests that culturally responsive education should do the following:

  • Make education accessible to all students
  • Be co-constructed by students, families, communities, and schools
  • Affirm racial and cultural identities to foster positive academic outcomes
  • Develop students’ abilities to connect across cultures
  • Empower students as agents in their own teaching and learning
  • Anticipate and design the education experience around and in response to particular social and cultural differences
  • Contribute to a student’s engagement, learning, growth, and achievement through the cultivation of meaningfully relevant conversations and activities

Culturally responsive-sustaining remote education, according to Kirkland, should also allow for flexibility and understanding, acknowledging the many challenges families are currently experiencing—more than one student on a laptop, unstable internet connection, and so on. Communication from schools and districts should be constant, in multiple languages and on multiple platforms. And remote education should enlist the help of parents as partners (Kirkland, 2020).

Learn more about the importance of culturally responsive pedagogies in the Rosetta Stone white paper, Emergent Bilinguals Are the Future: How Do We Support Educators to Ensure Their Success?

Educational leaders will forge the way ahead

As schools and districts forge a new path ahead, strong leadership will be critical. In their remote learning white paper, Brooke and Carreker also outline the six critical traits of effective educational leaders. From articulating a clear vision and plan to fostering the social and emotional learning of students and teachers, these traits will help to ensure equitable instruction for all students, as together we navigate what’s to come.

Find out how Rosetta Stone solutions can support your remote learning plan. Reach out today, and a sales representative will be in touch.


Brooke, L. & Carreker, S. (2020). How to develop scalable remote learning plans using familiar frameworks to sustain instruction in unfamiliar circumstances. Rosetta Stone Education.

Kirkland, D.E. (2020). Guidance on culturally responsive-sustaining remote education: centering equity, access, and educational justice. Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools.