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How Schools Can Engage Students During Online Classes?

Deepa Chandrashekar
Feb 24, 2022
Schools, Learning

2020 was a year of deep commotion that shook the world with the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses, education, daily life, name anything came to halt facing huge losses and devastation.

Digitization was the need of the hour that made living better and provided a ray of hope to recovery. Schools, colleges, universities across the globe were shut, and students were left in a realm of uncertainty. With the help of technology, students were able to get back to their routine. The Government of India’s top priority was digitization of the education sector as internet penetration rate estimated to reach above 55 per cent by the end of 2025 in India.

Like how companies started with the work from a home model, similarly educational institutions started with online classes. This sudden shift from physical to virtual classrooms created a gap in learning, and student engagement in online classes was very low.

With online classes slowly becoming the new normal, educators had to find out creative ways to engage the students. Students were laid back as there was no proper learning environment at home with distractions and confusion.

For learning and engagement to happen simultaneously, technology and digital platforms had proven ways to engage students.

Here are some tips to follow and increase the effectiveness of online teaching

The sudden shift from traditional classrooms to virtual classrooms with seamless connectivity across the nation has proved the power of technology. Initially, at the onset of the online classes, it was very difficult for the teachers in engaging students online as students would not get the feel of the school environment. 

Their routines were disturbed and handling of digital tools was new for teachers and the students hence it became difficult to conduct the classes. But with time, and training of teachers with the online tools helped in organizing the teaching and learning methodology.

To enhance the effectiveness of online teaching and for improving student engagement, laid down are a few key tips.

Be visible and connect with your students

Like a physical classroom, in a virtual classroom also the teachers need to have their presence to build a bond with the students. Teachers need to create an environment fostering learning engagement to students and be supportive. A welcoming gesture by the teacher makes a student comfortable and builds the enthusiasm to learn.

Create a supportive and collaborative environment

For a healthy and positive class engagement, teachers should be enthusiastic and engage students by creating supportive communities that foster teacher-to-student and student-to-student engagement and interactions.

Certain creative ways to engage students could be, asking them to create their introductions and contribute to the group, creating forums and discussion boards for support and assistance, and study groups where students can assist peers.

Online tools for effective teaching

Today the internet is an ocean of resources and information. There are a plethora of online tools for better online student engagement. A blend of traditional learning infused with modern technological tools makes the students more curious and innovative.

Timely feedbacks

Every student is excited to receive positive feedback from their teachers and would also want to know how they can better themselves. Constructive feedback by teachers should be an ongoing process for students to improve, and enhance their skills.

Access to learning anywhere

Today technology is at our fingertips and hence schools should make eLearning friendly across all devices be it desktop, laptop, mobile, or tablet. As most of the students have smartphones and accessing information and courses at their pace will ultimately boost their learning and performances.

Interactive online engagement ideas

Even though the pandemic has mellowed down, most of the educational institutions have given the flexibility of hybrid schools where they engage students online as well as offline. To help teachers foster better online learning and engagement, outlined are a few interactive online engagement ideas:

● Students can be encouraged to learn visual presentation with the help of tools like Flipgrid, Pear Deck as an addon to google slides. Virtual boards are very interactive to create educational and instructional videos to make the lectures and classes more interesting 

● Foster collaborative learning where students can interact and enhance writing and language skills through digital platforms like Kahoot, Padlet, and Word Wall. This improves the interactions and brings out the competitive spirit of students.

● Teachers should also come up with innovative and creative ways to engage students and make learning better. Socrative is an innovative system designed for teachers to create exercises or educational games that can be used across all devices.

● Students are always curious to learn new things. Thinglink is an educators’ tool to create interactive learning methodologies that broaden the knowledge of students where complex ideas are explained through visuals.

● Storytelling is an important aspect of learning. Tools like Adobe Spark bring out the creativity of students wherein they can share their ideas and narrate stories excellently.

● Students quickly connect with polite teachers. Especially the online classes take time for      students to get adjusted, and hence teachers should show their support.

● Setting targets in their learning and rewarding them will highly motivate the students to perform better. Nurture them in an environment where they can learn at their own pace and focus on gaining knowledge rather than the outcomes. Tools like ClassDojo will offer rewards like ‘well done and collects the student behaviour information that can be shared with the parents.

 

Conclusion: -

This shows that the traditional teaching methodologies are overpowered by technology that connects the teachers with students across the nation simultaneously. Students even in remote places have access to education with the digitization of education. Digital education will empower students across the globe with a range of possibilities and opportunities.

Global Indian International School is one of the top schools in Bangalore that provides seamless virtual classroom facilities that offer digital learning via online video conferencing technology. Students of all grades can access virtual classrooms in the Bangalore school and it is user-friendly across all devices.

Deepa Chandrashekar

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