Teaching and engaging with students online has been occurring in the higher education sector for a number of years now, however it’s a new challenge for secondary schools across Australia.
“The goal of online communications is the same as the goal in face-to-face communications: to bond; to share information; to be heard; to be understood.” – Sandra Mitchell-Holder
Fostering the same sense of community virtually as you would’ve done in your classroom may work differently but it’s still at the essence of an effective classroom. Here are some tips to keep your students feeling engaged.
Teach over multiple formats
Keeping things new and exciting is important in a normal environment, however given the current situation it‘s more important to keep students engaged. One way to accomplish this is by using all the tools at your fingertips. Here are just a couple of tools that can help you change up your lessons:
- Video conferencing on a web app like Zoom is a must have for workplaces, classrooms and even dinner with the family. It gives you the ability to share your screen, share links and files and chat either with everyone or with individuals.
- Kahoot brings the fun to the classroom with interactive quizzes. Students can play against each other in a live gameshow. You just prepare the questions and off you go.
- Google Classroom is popular for schools using the G Suite. The cloud platform allows you to distribute and grade assignments and communicate with your students.
- Videos on sites like YouTube related to a topic your teaching can be a different way to share information on a subject. It gives you a break and gets students more excited than a PowerPoint.
Need some inspiration on how to get creative? Here’s a video of La Trobe Outdoor Ed lecturer Scott taking his class on a canoe during their lesson.