The world is changing, perhaps more in education than anything else. For one, students have iPads and tablets now in place of textbooks and notebooks. Students have also migrated to remote learning methods due to the pandemic forcing schools’ hands.
Because of this, teachers have had to adapt to how they teach their students and how they approach subjects and lesson plans. Until the schools returned to at least a part-time in-person model, parents also took on a bigger role than usual in their children’s schoolwork. Managing online organization for college students is one thing. For grade school students, the challenge was much greater.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, an “overwhelming majority of states” saw significant score declines among fourth- and eighth-graders in math and reading between 2019 and 2022. The reason for this could be because high school and college students are already used to taking on more responsibility, whereas children rely on the hands-on approach they get in a classroom setting. Keeping a child’s attention on schoolwork at home can be much more difficult than in an organized, well-run classroom also.
This blog will break down ways to improve online learning for students of all ages, using both traditional methods of teaching and innovative technologies used in modern education today.
Try an Organization App
With so many materials floating around in remote learning models, it can be easier to lose track of certain documents and projects if they are kept in an organized, concise location. Because of modern technology and innovative applications, it’s much easier to store large amounts of data, share ideas easily between parties, and upload final projects to schooling platforms or other online destinations.
Many of these apps are also solid options for other uses, such as web design, creating moodboards, bookmarking, and crafting projects online. All of these uses could benefit an educator and students alike. Plus, with the app’s large well of data storage, the apps work well with dedicated servers to protect your data from the outside world.
Many apps allow for seamless collaboration, which is perfect for students socializing online and managing group projects that are difficult to tackle remotely. You’ll also be teaching students to organize their digital materials from an early age, which will help them to develop strong habits as they move into high school and higher education.
Schedule Brief One-on-One’s with Students
If you can make time to schedule a one-on-one video session with each of your students—even just once a week—you’ll be able to get a pulse on how they are doing and feeling. Remote learning is much more difficult for certain students than others, so they may need more personal time with their educator than others.
Particularly with younger students, it can be easy to drift from their objectives without being held accountable often. This needs to be in the form of something other than their grades. They need hands-on lessons from their teacher and to feel valued in a personal way. Even for college students, a one-on-one session can help them stay on track and have an adult conversation about their objectives and their progress.
Introduce More Group Projects
One thing students are missing in remote learning models is a collaborative group project setting, where students can share ideas and tackle assignments together in a productive way. Introducing a group project that students can work on together remotely will bring them together in a creative way and allow them to work together when they normally wouldn’t be able to.
They’ll also get more out of each other by holding each other accountable for their portion of the project. When properly structured, group projects can boost students’ skills, expand their learning methods, and provide an open discourse for discussion and disagreement. The goal is to try and recreate a classroom environment as much as possible. While this is largely impossible, introducing certain elements that students are used to can help them stay focused and feel more like normal students in school.
Express Public Positive Reinforcement
Kids need to be rewarded and acknowledged for their hard work in the classroom. This can be difficult in a remote learning environment. At every opportunity possible, be sure to praise your students for the work they’re doing. This not only helps them feel valued, it makes their work feel worthwhile in an uncertain time or unfamiliar environment.
Provide examples to the class of success stories of your students, and develop an online reward system that can incentivize children to work harder from home. With so many distractions, it can be difficult to focus and put their minds to their work. If the student feels valued, they’ll be more likely to go the extra mile in the curriculum.
Additionally, provide a variety of different ways in which students can participate and contribute. Not all students want to learn or experience school in the same way. Since online learning is already different from the norm, try and keep the work open-ended so students can approach it in a way that’s comfortable for them.
Adapting to remote learning methods is difficult for everyone involved: the teachers, the parents, and especially the students. For younger students, especially those who have hardly been in school at all, it can seem impossible to focus in front of a computer all day and retain information and lessons. Because of this, it’s crucial to implement a system that is creative, effective, and incentivized for them to succeed.
This can come in the form of implementing organization apps for older students or educators, creating virtual group projects for students to be collaborative remotely, or sticking to traditional teaching methods like positive reinforcement and public praise.
Everyone is trying to adapt the best they can. At the very least, give one or two of these methods a try and see if it doesn’t improve your virtual classroom. Students are looking for something that works for them as well as they navigate this difficult time. Since many children these days have grown up using technology, the transitions to new tools might not be as difficult as you think, and could have massive positive effects.
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