By Ania Seretny Psychologist & Online Learning Specialist at Linden Global Learning
As one of the only online international student support agencies in the world we have been inundated this week with administrators', teachers’, and parents’ requests for advice on how to best reach and teach children online. Because many of our students have special learning needs, our online work has to be particularly engaging and FUN! We have pulled together our very best tips for great online learning.
Here are our top tips...
1. Let There Be LIGHT!
Remember to sit in a well lit room, so your face and torso is visible. Students really appreciate seeing you and your smile. Be sure the light is in front of you and not behind you.
2. Background = Atmosphere
Bring your classroom into your background! Transition your classroom props onto your screen, if you are teaching geography position your map behind you. Students love props in a physical classroom, they will catch their attention in a digital one. Puppets, toy dinosaurs, sunglasses, and hats are favorite props of our specialists.
3. Move Your Body!
be aware of your nonverbal communication, an engaging teacher is one who dynamically moves on the screen. Don't forget to "thumbs up" and give "high-fives"!
4. Give Positive Reinforcement
A key practice in every teacher’s work. Apply it in the digital classroom! High fives to the camera, thumbs up, or sticker charts are different ways you can foster rapport with your students.
5. Take A Break
Your students need to focus on a small screen for a prolonged period of time. Think of creative games that will give you and your students a moment to refocus and have some fun.
6. Let's Stretch
Do not be afraid to introduce simple physical games to your online experience. Younger students can still sing songs and dance, older students will appreciate a light stretch after a whole day of sitting. Your interesting, creative solutions will be motivating for the students to come back to the screen and see what new exercise they can experience.
7. Celebrate Independence
Support your students feeling of classroom ownership by allowing them to interact as they would in a classroom. Online solutions allow students to raise their hand, write on whiteboards, take notes and answer questions in shared online documents. You can also allow them to arrange the agenda for the lesson. Give them the opportunity to be actively engaged in the classroom dialogue.
8. Use Everything (At Home)
Take advantage of your students’ home supplies. You can still teach through experience, do basic science experiments, and even make art. Ask your students and their parents to prepare for your session beforehand. Have all the tools ready for your experiential class.
9. Stay Creative
Translate your creative teaching style to the online environment. Supplement your class with videos, interesting pictures, gifs, and update your exercises to an online format so students can interact with you, surprise them with online solutions for academic games.
10. Technology Is Your Friend
Tech solutions are your new best friend, learn your tool and the vast options it has. Mix up new online solutions so you and your students can communicate verbally, nonverbally and via chats. If your tech skills can still be improved, seek out solutions online, but do not be shocked if you find that you are teaching a classroom full of tech specialists that can support you in making this process easy, fun, and interactive.
These are just a few tips to get you started!
For more information, questions, or teacher training, don’t hesitate to get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org