– 5 October, 2020
– 5 October, 2020
5 strategies to make your digital classroom a success!
– 5 October, 2020
A great classroom is all about interaction and exploration for students. As physical classrooms transform into online classrooms, some simple rules can support your students' learning & development.
Up until the beginning of the year, students used to sit in perfect rows facing the teacher. Classrooms had set workflows and procedures in place to ensure discipline and a smoother learning experience. Since education has undergone a drastic change now, it’s time for teachers to buck up their digital game! The first step is to start planning workflows beyond classrooms. Here are some tips on setting up the perfect digital classroom.
Set a timetable, a classroom structure and clear expectations
Just as any well-managed classroom, the set up for a digital classroom is important too. The set-up however has to be done by students or parents at home. Send out a circular that establishes clear rules in terms of using the kind of device, study area set-up and the expected behavior from students. Also include hygiene factors that help parents plan things like meals, break time, homework and assignments effectively. The idea of a circular is to ensure there is least distraction even if it’s in their comfort zone. If there are any apps or websites that your school uses, a simple login-break-log-off data can be recorded, that way students can be accountable for their work.
Encourage written assignments and homework after every class
Since examinations will continue to be written, encouraging assignments and written tests will help students transition from home to school easier. If your school has an app, or a website that facilitates the service of uploading documents, you can route written homework through it. Even the corrections/marks can be mentioned in the comments section. Otherwise, you can also ask for an email, where pictures of homework, worksheets or their journals can be attached in. Keep parents in the email copy, so they are aware of the progress too. Set clear deadlines for assignments and homework- if you can plan it in the timetable, they will know exactly what their schedule will look like, to be prepared for it.
Include videos and relevant digital content as examples for theories or formulas
Videos may have been distracting years ago, but today some of the study apps and channels explain difficult concepts really well. An audio-visual experience gives students a chance to take a new study route. You can recommend some credible apps, or show some videos in your digital class to make the chapter/concept interesting. Since writing on the board won’t be so simple, or clear- explaining math concepts with examples can also boost their understanding. Videos give students the control of watching at their own pace, rewinding where required until they understand. So, it’s a lot flexible and aids their current syllabus pace.
Set up signals to interact during class and a feedback loop for parents
In classrooms since everyone is right in front of the teacher, seeing a raised hand is easier! Plan some cues for your online classrooms, if it’s a small batch they can raise a pen, a book or call out your name if they need to answer a question. For a larger batch you can have a question-answer round at the end of each class. Add that into the timetable, so parents and students know that there is time to interact. In a Math class, give students a sum to solve, and they can raise their worksheets to show it’s completed. Online classrooms require more interactive sessions to keep students engaged, so once a week plan a only activity class, a test or a viva to keep them accountable for their progress. A great way is to ask for parents’ feedback via email or text, asking them how their child is progressing, and what they think could be improved. A monthly parent-teacher online meeting can also help gather feedback regularly. In older age-groups you can collect it from the students, like a feedback form. This will also introduce new teaching strategies based on recommendations.
Take group activities and assignments online
Successful online teaching requires every student to be involved in learning. Unlike traditional classrooms, gauging students attentiveness can be difficult- owing to connection problems or a new set-up. Plan classes with activities like pairing up students, ask the student next to you, create models from material at home etc. Making student groups will let them interact with their friends post e-school, and get a hang of digital assignments. Plan a day for the groups/pairs/teach the class activity and another for presentation. See if you can cue in a few marks for them that add up to the semester marks to encourage participation. Start a whatsapp group, or a fun trial email to encourage a point system or some gratifications that students look forward to.
If you’re looking for an online video library of Math & Science topics, MSVgo is an excellent app to offer conceptual clarity to your students. It has over 6,000 videos and is absolutely free to download. It’s filled with practical examples, animations and explanations of difficult concepts that textbooks or traditional formats of teaching often miss out on. Video based learning will not only enhance your students’ understanding of tough topics, but also improve their retention capacity. Download it here and make your online classrooms a success!