Transitioning from in-person instruction to distance learning has been especially trying for teachers and students. While most school districts integrated technology into the classroom years ago, the academic and equity gaps have created a unique set of challenges. Teachers struggle to present course materials to accommodate the diverse learning styles of students. On the other hand, students disengage as they struggle to comprehend complex curriculum and deal with the pandemic's emotional and social pressures.
As it doesn't seem that the pandemic is going away anytime soon, failure to address these issues will ultimately result in a massive learning loss. While teachers need to remain in compliance with educational guidelines and curriculum mandated by their district, there are resources available to bridge the gap and enhance distance learning environments for their students. Continue reading to learn more.
Video Conferencing and Group Projects
One of the most significant issues for students is being physically distant from their friends and teachers during the pandemic. While social distancing is vital to everyone's health and safety, it has a crippling effect on students' emotional well-being. Emotionally unstable students ultimately have a difficult time learning. Teachers can enhance student health by using tech tools like video conferencing software and collaboration tools for group projects.
Instead of providing a myriad of books, worksheets, and online tests to complete, teachers can encourage student involvement by hosting virtual meetings. Students get to interact with the teacher and socialize with their peers, which improves their mood.
To further encourage social interaction between students, teachers should rely on collaboration tools like cloud-based documents, spreadsheets, and chatrooms to assign group projects. Allowing students to team up to complete tasks creates an opportunity for them to talk during and after class and enhance their engagement and comprehension.
Interactive Learning Tools
While some students excel with reading chapters from textbooks, writing essays, and taking online tests, others struggle to comprehend. In the classroom, teachers could bridge the academic gap by using demonstrations, hands-on assignments, games, graphs, charts, and even field trips to improve student comprehension and retention skills. Unfortunately, virtual learning has made these strategies challenging to use.
The good news is that there are interactive learning tools like those found at Curriki.org that teachers can try. This platform has provided many benefits for students in grade school and college. Curriki Studio allows educators to create engaging and interactive content for students. The application is doesn't require much technical experience, and it quickly downloads on devices ranging from desktops to tablets. Students find the activities fun and easy to use as it expands their understanding of complicated course materials.
One-on-One Communications and Online Tutoring
One-on-one meetings and afterschool tutoring sessions have long been used by educators to connect with students struggling in the classroom. Though distance learning environments have changed the rules a bit, there are still efficient ways for teachers to build a stronger connection with their class.
Though your schedule is likely busy, find time to meet with your students on an individual basis. You can send emails, schedule an online chat session, or invite them to reach out to you after hours through a video conference. These tech solutions allow you to communicate with your students in a safe space where they feel comfortable discussing their academic, social, emotional, and personal problems. Completing this a few times a month per student allows you to make adjustments to ensure that they are learning efficiently. It also enables you to identify problems and locate resources to help them in the classroom and home.
The global health crisis has made distance learning vital for public schools nationwide. Though necessary for the safety and well-being of students, educators, and the communities they live in, e-learning has shed light on a plethora of academic challenges. For teachers looking for a solution to enhance their students' learning experiences while supporting their emotional and social health, the above technological resources are ideal for bridging the gap.