The coronavirus pandemic came with many challenges, some of the most important being for the educational system. To slow the rapid spread of the virus, this year was marked by months of lockdown, quarantine, closed schools, and universities. Everything shifted online. Even though some countries reopened schools, now with the second wave of the pandemic more and more countries are choosing to close them again.
This is a new challenge that needs to be faced by teachers, students, and their parents alike. Accommodating to the new conditions imposed by the pandemic is not easy. Face-to-face meetings with colleagues and teachers help students develop communication and other social skills. Teachers also have an easier time catching their attention because they all are in the same room. Students can address questions and debate some topics with their colleagues and teachers, thus gaining more knowledge.
This does not mean that online learning will be boring and will lack these helpful discussions between students and teachers. It is the social and physical contact that does not exist anymore. At the same time, this pandemic and shift to online learning encourage the people involved in the educational system to develop new skills. Teachers can find ways to engage the students in online classes and make the whole process of online learning fun. And also keep them motivated. Let’s find out how.
The coronavirus pandemic came at a moment when technology is flourishing. New and new devices, software, and apps are developed faster than ever. Thankfully, there are a lot of apps that can allow teachers to conduct their online classes with their students easily. Among the most used are Google Classroom, Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Adobe Connect. Depending on your lesson plan, you could choose the tool that best answers your needs.
After you have tested it, it is important to send invites to your students and inform them of the things they need to have during the online class. This will make activities or discussions easier, as students will not have to look for materials to help them. The same is valid for expectations. If you expect to see your students through webcams and discuss topics, they need to know to make sure they have a webcam and microphone.
Taking into consideration the chaos and tumult of life, you could send an automatic reminder 15 minutes before the online class.
We have often heard that it is more difficult to keep students engaged and catch their attention in the online world. And many teachers might see this as a huge challenge to overcome. The first step that can help you catch the attention of the students and maintain it, is by showing your face. Seeing you will have a nice effect on them and will keep them closer to the online class than it would do a faceless screen.
It is important to pay attention to a few details that will help you keep students engaged. You should stay at an optimum distance from the camera, nor too far or too close. Your microphone should function perfectly so that students can hear from you. You should be in a bright room with a neutral background. If you succeed in removing small distractions like these, you have made another step into making online classes more engaging.
Many teachers believe that the online world does not offer them an environment where they can organize interactive activities. This is not entirely true. Even though face to face meetings offer a wider pool of possibilities, the online environment doesn’t give up either. These times indeed require a new approach and activities, but teachers should not lose sight of finding new activities.
We all know that you learn faster when you are involved in a practical activity, so this is what teachers should aim for. They can build quizzes, propose brainstorming, and put into practice some icebreakers and get-to-know activities. There are a lot of games and puzzles that can be played online and that could make online learning more fun.
Teachers already know that there are two main types of students: those who actively participate in the classroom and those who are passive. You need to find ways to engage even passive students because it will ease their process of learning.
Even though the learning process takes place in the online world, this does not mean that teachers should give up teaching strategies they use in the classroom. Indeed, you need to find new activities to make students find fun in online learning. But you can also keep a few of the old ones.
The technique of splitting groups into smaller ones and giving group assignments is one of the most helpful techniques. It allows students to develop their collaboration and communication skills and they also learn how it is like working in a team. Even though their meetings will also be done online, group projects are one of the greatest ways to make the online learning process more engaging.
You can give them group projects that require a higher level of collaboration and research. This means that groups will need to work on their projects for at least one week. But you can also give them group projects to be developed during your online learning. You can split groups on Zoom and create new rooms for every group. After they have discussed the topic within the group, they can return to the main room to present their conclusions.
Now that students and teachers participate in online learning from the comfort of their own homes, a few nice things can be tried. For example, you could organize themed days. Every Friday, you and your students choose a theme according to which you will choose your clothes. You can have Funky Hat Day or Pajama Day.
These themed days will add a little more fun to online learning and it will also encourage communication between you and students. It will make the atmosphere friendlier and funnier; students will feel closer to you and more engaged, highlighting the writing services reviews.
Online learning comes with challenges for students, teachers, and parents alike. Coping with these huge lifestyle changes can come with negative emotions which may prevent students from engaging in online learning.
Teachers can make the online learning process more attractive and interesting by organizing interactive activities and themed days. Group projects still represent one of the best learning techniques. Make sure you choose the right tool and remove any unwanted distractions and everything will go smoothly.
Author Bio: Tiffany Harper is an experienced writer from New York and loves to travel with her kids. Now she tries to work less as a subject matter expert with paper writing service reviews and spend more time with her family. During travels, Tiffany loves to find new interesting aspects of family life and psychology. Please contact her on Twitter.