The pandemic took the old colloquial model of education and flipped it upside down and inside out. It left the education system feeling practically vulnerable as teachers and outdated pedagogy was exposed for homes to see. However, teachers rised to the challenge.

Online teaching is here and here to stay. Although it is magnanimously different to teach online versus in a classroom (especially a subject like STEM) there are still many tips and trick that can be implemented to ensure students are engaged emotionally and academically.

Relationship Building

This is number one in all classrooms. If a student does not feel safe, welcomed, valued or loved true learning will not take place. So how can we ensure that happens with the in person interactive?

Call students before school starts. I would send voice notes or short videos to their parents to let them know how excited I am to be their teacher. I also explain that even though this is a very new situation I hope to make up for it by getting to know them personally.

Make sure to set aside time for students in class to get to know once another with icebreakers or games. Vivify STEM as a wonderful resources on TpT for virtual STEM icebreakers.

I have even read of teachers setting up one-on-one appointments with students throughout the week just to check in. If your class is simply way too large, maybe consider calling in a small group of students for a “get to know you” date.

Chunk Content

E-learning took over the corporate training world and now it’s here in K-12 out of necessity. Number one rule we instructional designers learned, chunk content into small sections when designing E-learning.

When teaching live sessions I try not to have the children sitting in front of the screen for more then 20 minutes.

I make sure we have brain-breaks often and get our bodies moving. We play fun, quirky games during live sessions. For example, making children find something that starts with the letter A, B, C etc. This forces them to get up and move around and is a good way to transition to new information.

Prerecorded Sessions

Another great way teachers have been delivering content is by prerecording them and scheduling time to meet students throughout the week. Whole group live sessions can be tricky. Muting and unmuting mics can become cumbersome, making sure all students are there and engaged, managing whose videos are on. It can be quite a task to manage 40+ students on one call.

As oppose to having a large group of children together at once, one alternative is to prerecord sessions and meet with smaller groups throughout the week.

What are you doing that works? Now more than ever do teachers need to collaborate and help each other out.

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