Teachers have shifted from the whiteboards in schools to the props and gestures in an online classroom. Although all the technologies required for such sessions were around for more than a decade, it was only since the onset of the pandemic that the world started exploring the opportunities in EdTech. Since teaching online requires a different bag of skills, you may have to embark on a learning journey that helps you upskill for the competition. It takes not more than 5 minutes to set up an online classroom; what you need to focus on is the engagement rate, which can drop if you don’t attempt creative strategies to keep the session engaging.
As a teacher, you must be well aware of the distractions caused by the surroundings in your home. Creativity is the key to striking a chord with the students, meaning you should try to channel your energy towards improving the overall appeal of your online classroom. Students will have a lower attention span than you; so, the distractions should be kept to a minimum. But we are never in a position to do that. The best we can work on is to improve the quality of the sessions by making them more engaging. Here are a few tips to maintain the top-notch fun aspect of your online classroom so that the students remain hooked to the lessons.
1. Present the Best You Have
The time students have dedicated to your first session would be as low as 2 minutes if there is little to no interaction. Keep in mind the fact that you have only a few minutes to impress your potential long-term students. Since the availability of an online classroom is not scanty these days, you must try to make the most out of the time assigned. Teachers should always be perceptive enough to pick on the energy drop in an online classroom. If you do not have control over the behavior of students in the classroom, you may have to exercise rigorous assessment patterns to understand the capability of each student. This will help you alter your method to cater to the entire audience. Once you have cracked this, work on improving the quality of the visuals and audio. Your online presence can be enhanced with the equipment used to tweak the visuals of your face and gestures. The audio captured should also be of the highest quality to present yourself in the most engaging form. Learning how to manage these aspects should help you make the online classroom more fun.
2. Get a Hang of the Technologies
It does not come as a surprise that the world of education is now equipped with technologies. Students are also aware of the features available on the various platforms. So, you need to pay attention to each aspect of the system to make the sessions less tedious. Use the technologies to turn your profile attractive enough for better engagement. Make sure to get hold of backgrounds, pointers, screen sharing options, and other elements to keep the students glued to their seats. Gamification is now a part of the lessons offered on teaching platforms, and you can use them to improve the attention span of the students. You can also further classroom engagement by offering digital rewards in the form of virtual educational tools.
3. Inspire the Students
The in-person learning experience is similar to online classrooms in terms of the content being shared. However, when it comes to the engagement patterns, the varying numbers could be due to the lack of a driving force. You can include fun games or even play music in between the sessions during intervals in order to keep the attention of the students intact. This will also inspire a learning spirit in the students to learn the most with the facilities available in their classrooms.
4. Set Goals for the Whole Classroom
When you have a goal in mind, it would be easier to pick your path and pace yourself to achieve it right. Online classrooms will require teachers and students to interact regularly to tweak the learning process for better engagement, which also depends on the determination of everyone present in the room. Teamwork plays wonders here; tasks and assignments are to be completed on time to achieve the targets on time, thereby taking the curriculum beyond its applications. This can be successfully implemented only when the students are rewarded with badges and other online gifts. Doing so will also help you maintain a periodic progress check record for each student.
5. Interactive and Simple Lessons
One of the most important points to bear in mind is the fact that you cannot engage the students in an online classroom unless you have relevant material to start with. The lessons should be broken down into simple concepts, which should be covered through the basics. All this has to be delivered in sessions that are made interactive by ensuring two-way conversation/discussion rather than declamation.
6. Be Appreciative and Patient
If online teachers choose to disregard the students, regardless of their achievements, the numbers are highly likely to witness an instant dip. Always be kind and patient with your students, and also try to appreciate them for their efforts. This will foster a better learning experience for them on the platform you have created your classroom. Finding out the interests of your students and helping them out is a great way to tighten the connection with them.