This year more than ever, online education has grown both in popularity and necessity. Whether you are a seasoned online instructor or one of the many teachers thrown into the remote learning sector by force, you will love these awesome distance learning books to enhance your professional development.

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1. The Online Teaching Survival Guide

By Judith V. Boettcher and Rita-Marie Conrad

The second edition of The Online Teaching Survival Guide was updated in 2016, well before the pandemic. Though not originally written with the pandemic in mind, the text offers theory-based techniques for the online classroom that help teachers new to the world of online instruction understand and implement best practices. The book covers everything from community building to assessment and is a great starting place for teachers in need of some fast PD.

2. Teaching in the Online Classroom

By Doug Lemov

Teaching in the Online Classroom: Surviving and Thriving in the New Normal by [Doug Lemov]

Author Doug Lemov wrote Teaching in the Online Classroom in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, acknowledging that teachers across the country made an immediate shift online into unknown instructional waters. Lemov studied videos of this new world of online teaching to provide teachers with a transition guide perfect for the short-term distance learning many educators currently find themselves in.

3. Teaching and Learning at a Distance

By Michael Simonson, Susan, Zvacek, and Sharon Smaldino

Teaching and Learning at a Distance book

Updated in 2019 and now in its seventh edition, Teaching and Learning at a Distance promises research-based best practices validated by scientific evidence. Educators will appreciate the thorough overview of the teaching online process. Additionally, the section on equivalency theory is particularly helpful, discussing how distance learning should strive to provide students with learning opportunities that are equivalent to – not identical to – a face-to-face classroom environment.

4. Excellent Online Teaching

By Aaron Johnson

Excellent Online Teaching is short and practical, organized according to the author’s 16 characteristics of effective online teaching. The book promises a focus on “enduring” teaching practices while also acknowledging that the world of online teaching is ever-evolving.

5. Balance With Blended Learning

By Catlin R. Tucker

Balance With Blended Learning: Partner With Your Students to Reimagine Learning and Reclaim Your Life (Corwin Teaching Essentials) by [Catlin R. Tucker]

Balance With Blended Learning is not written strictly for teachers in an online setting, but the content is highly applicable for teachers seeking work-life balance amidst pandemic workloads. The goal of this book is to help teachers empower students to take ownership of their own education, which is more important than ever while students are online.

6. The Golden Climate in Distance Learning

By Dr. Marina Kostina and Dr. William LaGanza

Golden Climate in Distance Learning Book

The Golden Climate in Distance Learning focuses not on instruction but on relationship building within the online setting. Although distance learning isn’t the same as face-to-face instruction, the authors of this book posit that online we can still build the same vibrant relationships we are used to in our in-person classrooms. Teachers just have to embrace new techniques.

7. Small Teaching Online

By Flower Darby and James M. Lang

Small Teaching Online book

“Small teaching” is the idea that small shifts in how we teach can lead to big payoffs. The authors of Small Teaching Online show readers how to make these small but strategic changes to see increases in student learning. This approach is refreshing because overwhelmed teachers won’t feel like they need to do a complete overhaul after reading this book. The changes recommended are manageable and make a big difference.

8. Humanizing Distance Learning

By Paul Emerich France

8. Humanizing Distance Learning: Creating Equity and Humanity in Times of Crisis

Author Paul Emerich France asserts a powerful truth that is at the heart of this book – distance learning is helping teachers return to the heart of education, which we have previously strayed from. He argues that educators have lovingly created a generation of students who are dependent upon us as teachers when we should be helping students become independent learners and free thinkers. Emerich helps teachers recenter equity in this distance learning book that is released on Dec. 15, 2020.

9. Creating Engaging Discussions

By Jennifer H. Herman and Linda B. Nilson

Creating Engaging Discussions book

As an online teacher, do you ever feel like tapping your mic and asking, “Is this thing on?” The sea of avatars and muted microphones can be daunting. Creating Engaging Discussions gives teachers a toolkit of strategies they can use to get students talking – even online.

10. The Distance Learning Playbook – Grades K-12

By Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie

Distance Learning Playbook

Teachers seeking evidence-based strategies for distance learning should look no further than The Distance Learning Playbook. This book was released in Summer 2020, after what the authors identify as the “crisis teaching” implemented when the pandemic hit. Now, they say, teachers have a chance to deliberately apply research-based techniques to fine-tune their craft in an online setting.

11. Connecting With Students Online

By Jennifer Serravallo

If you have felt like teaching online is a completely different job than teaching in person, you’re not alone. In her book, Connecting with Students Online, Jennifer Serravallo practically reflects on her own experiences distance teaching. Offering step-by-step instructions for each aspect of a teacher’s online day, Serravallo’s book will help you feel comfortable and connected in this new teaching space.

12. Distance Learning Workbook

By Kharen Minasian and Debra Kidder

Distance Learning Workbook

Just released in October, the Distance Learning Workbook promises to help teachers master the art of distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ready-to-go materials educators can use right now, like distance learning class openers and community building activities to increase engagement, are especially helpful.

13. 50 Strategies for Your Virtual Classroom

By Jennifer Jump

This is another distance learning primer that has been released in response to the pandemic. This book contains tips for all the different types of schools we are seeing right now, from fully online to hybrid. It also contains a helpful list of online materials teachers can reference for even more ideas.

14. Engaging Learners Through Zoom

By Jonathan Brennan

Engaging Learners Through Zoom book

This book promises “the antidote to Zoom fatigue,” which is quite the promise! It’s filled with science-backed information and strategies that can be used to make Zoom work for you, whether you teach Kindergarten or college.

15. SEL From a Distance

By Jessica Hannigan and John E. Hannigan

SEL from a Distance book

Educators everywhere are talking about Maslow over Bloom, a philosophy that prioritizes mental well-being over content delivery. The pandemic made it crystal clear how much schools provide beyond education – food, shelter, security. Now that students are learning at home, it is more important than ever to see to their social and emotional needs. But how? This book provides some answers.

Other Book Lists From Amy’s Bookshelf You’ll Love:

15 Best Distance Learning Books For Teachers to Improve Their Instruction