It is Monday morning and you have made all preparations to take your first ever online learning session with your class of first graders. As soon as you login though, you can see a few faces smiling at you, quite a few blank screens, and some screens with random body parts of the kids visible to you. You ask the students to face the camera and begin with your class. Not surprisingly enough, your words seem to fall on deaf ears and some kids begin drawing on their whiteboards, others keep turning on their microphones to talk or keep raising their hand and yet others keep clicking pictures and sharing them in the class. In short, teaching elementary school students in an online classroom can be an uphill task. What can educators do when faced with such a situation in a virtual classroom?
Well, don’t worry because we’ve got the answer. Ever since the COVID pandemic forced students and educators all across the globe to teach online, teaching and learning have no longer remained the same. With technology changing the face of education, teaching has become more effective and simpler than ever before. Educators should make use of the best app to teach online in order to make the most out of their online teaching journey and become a successful online educator. Having said that, teaching elementary school students in a virtual classroom can be a real challenge. Here are a few tips which shall definitely prove helpful for educators while teaching relatively younger students in a virtual setting. So, without further ado, let us take a look at each one of them….
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Consistency is key-
With technology changing the face of education, today educators have a lot of options while choosing the appropriate teaching tools. However, it is advisable to stick to only a few teaching tools at least initially after choosing some relatively simple and best app to teach online, so as not to overwhelm your young learners. Initially, start with two or three teaching tools and add more to the array of tools as the students get accustomed to the previous ones. This is the best way to ensure that students are able to use the digital classroom technology for effective learning, and are not overwhelmed by it.
Upgrade Technology slowly-
Even though it might seem a lot like the previous point, I promise you it’s not the same. While teaching young students in a virtual environment, care should be taken on part of the educators to introduce the students to new technology in a slow and steady manner. Overwhelming the students and their parents is the last thing you want as an educator. The most efficient way of introducing new teaching tools is with some fun, engaging and non-graded learning activity so that the kids can learn the ropes without feeling anxious about their performance and have fun while taking part in the activity. In this way, the students will get used to that piece of technology before you know it.
A regular schedule is quite helpful in bringing about a sense of organization and structure into your virtual classroom of elementary school students. Just as elementary school teachers usually chalk out a daily schedule in morning meetings while teaching in a traditional offline classroom, it would behoove them to encourage the students to follow one in a digital learning environment as well. This will let the students know exactly what to expect from the online class. Even though students might take some time to get a grip over things initially, they will quickly adapt to a regular schedule if they are made to follow one consistently.
Engage the students-
The best way to get the students to pay attention in your online class is by actively involving and engaging them in the learning process. Design activities which young students will find fun and exciting to participate in, teach using multimedia and multicolored content and always try to explain things in a simple manner to keep the learning environment engaging for the young learners.
Even though teaching elementary school students in a virtual classroom can be challenging, it also presents a tremendous opportunity to grow and improve your online teaching skills. By following the tips mentioned here, educators can ensure that they are able to teach young learners as well as they can handle older students in an online classroom.
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