In this article we look at seven (7) ways teachers can make teaching (and learning) in the online classroom more interesting, educational, and not to mention, enjoyable.
How Teachers and Online Learning Fit Together
What are some ways teachers can make teaching and learning online enjoyable?
We also include a link to our recommend list of important educational tools teachers can use to keep students engaged in the online classroom.
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Building Effective Online Teaching Strategies
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How Can Teachers Connect With Online Learning?
The year 2020 in education brought teachers and online learning together in a significant way. Teachers are working hard to organize their online tools to allow for optimal learning in this new educational environment!
Teachers, parents, and students need to recognize the positives that may come from learning online so as to keep their mental health in good spirits.
The 7 Ways Teachers Can Connect With Online Learning
Read on to see our recommended 7 ways teachers may inspire great learning in the online classroom.
I. Establish Class Routines
In 2020, online meeting platforms such as Google Meets, MS Teams , and Zoom began to represent the “classroom”.
Teachers may look to organize online classroom routines as much (as is possible) in the same way as a traditional classroom setting with your daily routines. Classroom jobs for the students may look a little different in the online class, but teachers still need help, especially with helping others use the technology!
II. Understand Educational Management Tools
Online educational tools like Google Classroom or Office 365, can help students to come prepared for the online class with all their materials, books and any homework ready and completed.
Online management tools can build bridges between teachers and online learning.
III. Include Online Presentation Tools
Animated feature tools like the ANNOTATE feature (Zoom) is an easy way to have students write their answers on the “virtual whiteboard”.
Tools such as: Google Slides, PowerPoint Slides, KeyNote, OneNote all allow for easy ways to make presentations. Students can see clearly how to follow all the directions to complete activities in the online classroom, so students have no excuse not to listen carefully!
IV. Ask Questions that Keep Students Engaged
Along with using the right tools to keep students active in participating, asking the right questions is very important.
Students find it hard to concentrate in the online classroom because of the pressure they have to put on themselves to keep focused.
To help students stay focused, teachers can ask questions that show students the learning they will do will be easy and fun!
V. Keep Students Entertained with Educational Games
To keep engagement levels high in the classroom, the questions teachers ask should be both relevant and entertaining.
Teachers may use educational tools like: Kahoot!, Quizizz, or Quizlet to call on students to answer questions so students should be prepared at all times and ready to unmute their microphones! Tools such as these are great ways to keep students engaged with learning.
VI. Engage in Class Discussions
It is important to have student engagement during most of the online class sessions, especially if they can’t turn on their cameras to see if they are actually present in the class!
Teachers can call on students directly, or have them raise their icon hand (Zoom reference here) when they ask for students to volunteer to read aloud, or write answers in the chat, or sing songs!
VII. Use Breakout Rooms
Teachers may ask their students to work with other classmates to complete class assignments or prepare for presentations in what we call ‘breakout rooms’. These are separate ‘rooms’ from the main room where students can engage in group discussions.
Breakout rooms work best for middle school age students and older as the younger ones may not understand their purpose. Some teachers may feel that the students can’t be trusted in the breakout rooms, but if the teacher elects students to be the group ‘leader’ then, students will feel a greater sense of responsibility and become more aware of their behavior and actions in these rooms.
Take The Class On A Virtual Field Trip
You as a teacher may plan a virtual trip to popular sites any place across the world, or under the ocean, or even to Mars in outer space.
A virtual class field trip excites students and strengths the relationships between teachers and online learning.
And Finally... To Survive Teaching Online
Remember that this is something that will get easier with time, as do most things in life!
Teachers who love teaching will find it within themselves to overcome this new challenging to teaching, but the passion and desire to help others does not go away even though the environment has changed.
It is important to always maintain your teacher identity so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the technology which at times may seem to be more in control than the teacher in the online classroom.
With teaching online, it really tests your desire for teaching, as teaching practicums do in actual classrooms. Teaching is never as easy as some may think it to be, and as the world has discovered, it takes a special someone to be a teacher.
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Share Your Thoughts
Comment below and let us know if you have any tips, suggestions, or educational tools teachers can use to engage students in the online classroom.