Sep 25, 2020

NGPF Podcast: Zach Blattner on Best Practices for Teaching Remotely (Speaker Series)

Zach Blattner of Relay Graduate School of Education is back again (earlier podcast here is among most popular NGPF podcasts) with tips and techniques on the craft of teaching remotely. From building relationships to structuring breakout rooms to figuring out the right pacing, Zach's insights will give you the confidence to tackle the challenges of this school year. Enjoy!


  • 0:00~1:20 Introduction
  • 1:20~6:21 Zach’s background and expertise teaching online
  • 6:21~8:44 Building relationships online with students
  • 8:44~10:42 Camera on or camera off?
  • 10:42~14:27 Important design principles when teaching online
  • 14:27~16:12 How online can even be better than in-person
  • 16:12~18:53 Structuring effective break out rooms
  • 18:53~20:18 Unique benefits to teaching online
  • 20:18~23:39 Challenges to teaching online
  • 23:39~25:13 What percentage of normal content can be taught online?
  • 25:13~26:34 Is there a perfect mix of interaction and presentation?
  • 26:34~29:15 Favorite Nearpod interactives
  • 29:15~31:34 Tips to teach synchronously when you have bigger classes 
  • 31:34~32:49 Teaching both online and in-person at the same time
  • 32:49~34:31 Stress reduction tips 
  • 34:31~37:25 How to give feedback to students
  • 37:25~39:17 Amount of work to give students to do asynchronously 
  • 39:17~40:29 Zach's tech set-up 
  • 40:29~42:14 Maximum hours of online teaching before burning out
  • 42:14~44:00 Conclusion



  • “If you’re just going to be talking for long periods of time, there’s no point for it to be synchronous. Then you might as well film yourself talking and have them watch it on their own. Making that synchronous time about application, practice, synthesis, and group work, that’s where that time will feel valuable and kids will get more out of it.”

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Ren Makino

Ren started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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