Covid-19 saw school closures globally, propelling students and teachers into the online realm, unprepared and under-tooled. The consequences for student engagement and achievement have been far-reaching. And will continue to be for some time.
Students and teachers will need to get used to being back in the classroom. But getting out of the house doesn’t mean straight back to the whiteboard. Online learning has made one thing clear- technology in teaching is here to stay.
The increased demand for Edtech tools shows a move towards learning environments that include technology for accessible, flexible, collaborative, and inclusive teaching methodologies.
Screen Sharing Options
Single and multi-screen sharing in the classroom presents many advantages. Students work can be shown to the whole class, creating an environment of appreciation, trust and collaboration.
Screen sharing technology allows teachers and students to showcase a variety of media and text through a multitude of different platforms, sites and apps. Increasing a sense of community and bonding experiences.
Screens can also be used for digital signage created by teachers, school staff or students. These provide a flexible, versatile model of communication that can be endlessly customised, personalised and revamped.
Digital Learning Tools
With student-device ratios on the up, teachers can harness a more personalised learning experience in the classroom. With each student at their workstation and screen sharing technology at the ready, teachers can deploy their knowledge bombs to multiple screens simultaneously. Quizzes, games and interactive collaborative lessons- all while moving around the room, monitoring and helping individual students throughout their day.
Those quizzes, games and interactive lessons have been created using apps to turn slideshows and documents into interactive, fun and engaging lessons. This saves the teacher’s time. This saved time provides added opportunities to identify any issues in learning; recognise and praise non-curricular achievements, and interact in a meaningful way.
Digital learning tools allow for multimodal learning. Giving students an increased array of learning opportunities, resulting in higher engagement and achievement. Online language learning platforms use multimodal learning as a standard.
E-learning apps have been used in bedrooms for the past 2 years. These can be transferred to the classroom seamlessly. Teachers can continue to use these for interactive homework assignments and sharing schoolwork and videos with parents. This will help maintain the community bond created between teachers, students, and parents.
Classroom Engagement Strategies
Learning gaps created by the pandemic have resulted primarily from disengagement in students. Now is a great time to reintroduce healthy, meaningful, and fresh strategies to help students reconnect with their peers, teachers and the school experience.
The first step is collaborating with students to create a learning environment filled with respect, kindness and openness. This will help to create a space where students feel safe to express themselves.
Secondly, getting students involved in the learning process and allowing them to take the lead through presentations and class discussions.
Thirdly, incorporate activities and projects that take the students outside of the classroom. This doesn’t have to be a physical removal. It could simply be a project that applies what they have learnt to a real-life context.
Finally, incorporate mindfulness techniques daily like journaling, meditation, and discussion circles. These techniques can help students deal with stress and emotions they are struggling with, as well as contribute to greater self-awareness and confidence.
The last 2 years have been tough. Students, teachers and parents will all be going through a process of adaptation, and it won’t always be smooth sailing. The best things we can do for the generation of kids affected by the pandemic is patient, set examples and make learning fun again.