We can all agree that things have changed due to the effects of the recent pandemic. Teachers have organized online tutoring classes for their virtual students for a while before blending them with physical classes with almost equal measure. Teachers can confirm that the hardest part, in the beginning, was how to make my online classes interesting enough to earn full and undivided involvement from the students. In order to solve their woes, they had to think outside the box. They actively sought better ways of improving their output and getting feedback from their classes. As they stated before, things haven’t been the same since March of 2020. Therefore the need for tools and opportunities to maintain smooth learning processes accelerated the innovation of new learning techniques across the educational sector. Instructors went out of their way to incorporate new ideas, mainly because they had no choice at first. They had to be versatile in order to maneuver around each challenge that arose. However, with time teachers have embraced inevitable change and resort to focusing on great service delivery to learners while they learn on the job. Their attention gradually switched from the problems they were experiencing to finding ways to overcome the problems and focus on improving the student’s learning experience. Educators found the urgent need to adapt to the new reality, and we can assure you that the progress is mind-boggling.
Educators got more involved in students’ welfare by recognizing the significance of looking into social-emotional learning(SEL) and its usefulness to both students and instructors.
For more beneficial future prospects, it’s imperative for learners to embrace the 5 capabilities of SEL. They include building good relationships, being aware of the social environment, being self-aware, having great management skills and making sound decisions. These skills are crucial in a student’s personal growth.
The following are some inventive ways of making students overly engaged and curious to learn:
1. Creating avenues for students to check-in and introducing dynamics of entering and exiting the class
We think it is crucial to start a lesson with check-ins and endings with fun activities like small presentations. Regardless of which online tool you use, the level of satisfaction in students has to be noticeable. Sometimes it’s necessary to use Nearpod for the diversity of its activities while other times better to use Google Forms to gather feedback from students. This helps in improving methods of teaching thus making things better.
Ziplet as an online tool is even more interactive as it has sections for quizzes, responses and ratings. Desmos on the other hand is mainly used for check-ins while apart from offering questionnaires for students to respond, Google Forms also has a video upload section. This makes data collection a walk in the park. Buncee has check-in templates but unlike Ziplet, it also has a section for entrance tickets. Lastly, Quizizz has a selection of thrilling games that students can choose from. All these interactive platforms help heighten the level of concentration in students.
2. Participation and lively discussions
Acquiring an in-depth understanding of how to involve students during your lecture can be an uphill task if you don’t know the right strings to pull. In this case, the educator had to carry out a survey via questionnaires to know what his students’ interests were. Thereafter, he took the initiative of making considerable changes in his class setup. The transition from the physical arrangement of a classroom to an online one was too drastic for educators, but fortunately, it paved the way for the application of great digital tools.
As an educator, you have an obligation to make your class as interesting as possible. You can achieve this milestone by coming up with captivating activities that promote participation and cultivate the spirit of teamwork in the students. For instance, you can go the non-digital way by asking your students to group themselves and visit an art gallery expedition, take photos and convert them to drawings. You can also go the digital way by utilizing the provisions like Google Jamboard, Padlet, Whiteboard chats which all allow the students to come together for a common goal, both offline and online. Students can also enjoy the features of Book Creator to join forces to come up with a book, thus giving them chances to advance their SEL skills, interpersonal interactions and knowledge of the digital space.
With Formative, students can access content, audios and videos and with Nearpod, students can play games and interact with others. This greatly encourages student engagement and interaction.
3. Boosting confidence and interconnection
Whenever teachers are done delivering a lesson, they give the students a chance to process all the information that they have grasped and be able to explain it in a more comfortable way. This helps improve their understanding and confidence. There are numerous digital tools that are geared to helping the students effectively discuss among themselves or between the students and teachers.
For instance, Spaces EDU is a platform that allows students and teachers to share ideas on various topics and subjects. Educators were introduced to the platform by their students who apparently had been using it for a while then. Tools like Flipgrid and Synth technically take learning outside the classroom by permitting international interaction and coordination between students and thus fostering social awareness. GoSoapBox is mainly used for entrance and exit tickets but it can also be used for short responses.
The digital tools described above have helped in setting the trend and shaping the face of the entire education system. They have provided a startling amount of assistance and we can never forget that.