Online classes or virtual tutoring was the only way out when the world was caught off guard due to COVID. However, online teaching too has certain expected norms.
Extra Time to Log-in
Just as you would reach a little early or on time for any regular school, students and parents need to be given 5-10 mins in between classes to login in time lest they distract other students while joining late.
Help Understand Technology
Although children are quick at picking up technology but still they may require help to completely understand the virtual portal and how to use its features completely.
Instead of packing their bags for school the next day, elementary students should specifically be instructed to preferably make sure their devices are working properly and charged before the class starts or how to monitor battery availability and how to charge the device.
Instruct to Dress Appropriately
Just because the schooling is happening from home does not mean you can attend the class in your pyjamas. Children need to be appropriately dressed before the camera. This will also help their brain adapt to ‘work’ mode.
Assist in Setting up Work Station
Young children have a notoriously short attention span and when teaching is happening through a small screen at home one can get distracted even by the slightest thing. Help them stay focused by giving them dedicated distraction free space with all that they would need during the class within reach
Rules for Using Tech Feature
It is important that we show how all the communication features work-video, microphone, chatbox etc. especially mic and camera. When we need to switch on the camera and keep the mic on mute lest the background noises and activities disturb the entire class.
Build Norms with Students
Creating a classroom community in an online environment may not be easy. One way to do so would be to build classroom norms together. This will encourage students to participate and take interest and feel connected even while apart.
Anticipate Learner Variability
With online classes digital learning experience can be designed in a way that can address each learner’s need, interest and preference.
Creation of active learning experiences
Online classes are expected to be more interesting and engaging with hand-on, project based learning. This helps build community feeling and improve engagement.
Allow Snacks Breaks
Certain rules remain the same as in a regular classroom. No snacking during class time. Allow snacks break to maintain a school like schedule. This will also keep their digital device crumb and smear free.
Make the children aware that when they use the chat functionality, it is seen by everyone in the classroom so to use it judiciously. Introduce a set of signals that the children can use to let you know they have something to share. This will make them eager to participate in class and make them feel valued.
Put Forward your Expectations and communicate with families
Elementary school children too need to be made to understand the expected rules for behaviour and participation even in an online class and that they have to adhere to them. Keep the parents too informed of the same preferably through a phone call to start with and then maybe through emails. A virtual interactive meet can also be scheduled with students and parents.
Source: Ed Tech Review