By: Meghan Mathias
We are halfway through 2021 and although remote learning and online classrooms are not as necessary as they were last year, they are still such an important option. You never know what will happen in the future, and as our world already relies on technology for so many of its other functions, it would not be surprising if remote learning remained a popular option for education into the future.
According to the Pew Research Center, in October of 2020, parents of K-12 students receiving only in-person instruction are more satisfied than those whose children are learning online. It is important to foster an online community while in the virtual classroom so that not only do students and parents feel that they are getting the same quality education through remote learning as they would through in-person learning, but also so that the students can begin to feel supported, respected, and confident in their Internet proficiency for the future.
Tips for Creating a Community in the Virtual Classroom
- Take stock of the culture you are creating in the classroom and how it affects how the students learn, such as whether the students show up for live sessions or interact with the material provided, and then tweak that culture and its lesson plans until you find something that sticks
- Build trust between yourself and your students through staying consistent, such as requiring all students to have their cameras on or all of them to have them off so that no exceptions are made
- Stay in contact daily, whether that be through text message, phone call, email, etc. so as to keep students engaged and excited for coursework
- Remain sensitive to cultural differences and make sure your students are aware of them, especially considering there could be multiple ethnicities, races, genders, traditions, etc. exposed through online classes when the students are at home
- Remind students to find a space in their home where learning and listening free from distractions is easy
- Encourage frequent breakout rooms so that the students can get used to socializing amongst themselves and discussing the material together just like they would in person
- What are your favorite parts about attending class from home on the computer?
- Do you feel you get to socialize with your friends enough through remote learning?
- What do you wish your teachers would do to make remote learning easier and more fun?
- What are some things you can do to eliminate distractions at home while remote learning?
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