This school year, more than ever before, we’re seeing Distance/Remote Learning becoming the new norm. However, as much as teachers try their utmost to engage with their students, technology can’t ever compete with face to face interaction. Nonetheless, there are definitely ways to make video conferencing more engaging and equitable. Below are some suggestions.
Out of class homework
Teachers can assign out of class homework which breaks the indoor routine and gives students an opportunity for a change of scenery. One example is by adding a fun element to science projects making them more enjoyable to solve, especially in subjects like Chemistry and Physics. While flexibility can be an advantage in distance learning, it can also be a curse for some students. Having a scheduled time framework creates a sense order and means that students must work together and at the same pace as one another.
Making sure that you celebrate in the same way as you do in the classroom is so important for students moral and helps create a sense of normalcy within the virtual classroom. A good example of this is by having a shout out for birthdays and taking a break to celebrate virtually together. Doing something recreational together as a class is also fundamental to student and teacher bonding. This might include watching a movie or video together in realtime via apps like rave and House Party.
Introduce Project-Based Learning activities like designing a new city. This type of ‘hands-on’ learning encourages collaboration and problem solving amongst students while gaining knowledge and acquiring fundamental skills. Project-based activities are also a great way for other members of the family to get involved, have fun and take an active role in their child’s education while they are homebound.
By assigning alternative activities to students, it helps to keep them interested and engaged during these unprecedented times. This could include an assignment of listening to podcasts or watching documentaries on relevant subjects such as climate change, wildlife, future cities, world politics, music and sports.
Virtual Field Trips
While some museums and theatres might still be closed, there are a lot of them that are open virtually for free. Introducing virtual field trips for the class can be lots of fun as well as being educational.
In This Together
As we continue to adapt to the new norm, maintaining a sense of positivity, happiness and togetherness, as much as possible, is incredibly important to the wellbeing of our young scholars. Let's get through this together.