5 Tips for K-12 Educators to Make Online Education More Efficient
April 28, 2021
Nearly one year has passed since the coronavirus has spread around the world and the biggest lockdown potentially in history has started. Opening periods of schools, graduation of learners, break holidays, new school terms, … Their time has come and gone. And it is not clear when all of this madness will end. Potentially, to drag on for many years into the future with the rapid pace at which the virus can mutate.
We have started to get used to our new normals, or rather we had to get used to them. As many sectors were affected, the education sector was also affected by the pandemic. Learners, educators, institutions, … Education is now held online because schools are closed. Although the efficiency of this is controversial, health should always be the most important factor to consider while making these decisions.
Many effects of the online education period on learners have started to be seen clearly. These effects are both physical and psychological. And it will be educators who can reduce these effects the most.
Here are some tips that can help educators create a more sustainable and engaging online learning experience for their learners.
1. Engage with learners individually and as a wholeSince the beginning of education history, engagement was, is, and will be the highest priority of educators. It is the same with physical learning and will be the same with online learning. Engagement for learners is synonymous with learning. It increases the attention, motivation, and focus of learners and makes their soft skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving better.
Engagement with learners during online education times could be hard but not impossible. There are some tools to use while you are in the virtual class.
You can use Note.ly, Mural, Google Drive, Linoit, MindMeister to create online discussions and brainstorming boards to encourage team working between your learners.
You can create online and interactive quizzes with Kahoot. Students will have fun while learning the answers to questions.
You can open online classes to create office hours with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet to work collaboratively (open cams, close mics to not disturb anyone).
You can create a server in Discord for your class to increase engagement between learners, provide the opportunity to meet whenever they want, and create various channels where they can hang out as friends or ask questions to their peers.
You can use these tools to make the class communication and communication between you and your learners easier and faster. This will help your learners to be more social during these lockdown times.
2. Make it fun - don’t underestimate the power of social media
Remember that they are just kids even though their titles are learners. Fun is what helps kids to focus and learn the most. At this time, children started to spend their free time on social media because they could not meet or play with their friends. They are having fun - real fun. With the use of the most widely known social media applications such as TikTok and Instagram, you can attract the attention of your learners and reach them in an easier and more fun way. By giving their homework through these channels, you can have them learn while having fun.
3. Spend some time to understand learners’ performance
The most valuable feedback for education is the performance feedback of learners. For this part, you can use the power of technology. With artificial intelligence (AI), you can see the performance of the class as a whole and separately. With this information, you can understand and connect better with your learners. Spiky.ai can help you understand your class, predict their problems, give personalized feedback, and give exam-questions reviews. We know every student and each class is unique and we are providing the personal online training they deserve.
4. Make the previous lessons easily accessible
During the time of COVID-19, especially for health reasons, attendance can be a problem, even though classes are online. In these times, the rules on participation can be stretched a little bit and educators can become more understanding. With technology so developed, you can leverage this to be more effective by bringing education to a more equal level. If you put the lessons taught and course materials into the LMS that your school uses, learners who missed the class or want to repeat the lesson can benefit from them. Thus, it can be guaranteed that every student benefits from equal opportunities in your class.
5. Provide interactive activities
Your learners cannot leave their homes during the time of COVID-19, and their lives are being and have been spent on-screen reading, watching, and listening for over a year now. This one-sided computer-student relationship has begun to strain them both physically and psychologically. For those times, you can be a savior for your learners and help them focus more eagerly on their lessons by providing some interactive activities in your classes like online games, peer sessions, quizzes with fun surprises, physical homework (like video taking or role-playing), etc.
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