A Guest Post by Shaheen Sajan
Transitioning to a remote classroom could sound as intense as learning to land a plane while reading the pilot’s manual. To add to the helplessness of the situation, it’s as if our children are the passengers of this flight of fancy and nobody knows how this thing’s going to land. What I know as an e-Learning professional is that it doesn’t have to be so dire.
Think of it this way, we learn best by doing and there are some amazing resources out there to help both parents and teachers, so they’re not faced with the daunting task of reinventing the wheel.
Yes, there have been some teachers whose idea of remote learning means recording a video of themselves talking about some mundane subject and then asking their grade 3 students to pause every few seconds to write down what they just said. But it really doesn’t have to be this way.
Follow these four easy steps used in e-Learning and your students in k-12 (North America) or primary-A-levels (UK) will log on each morning, eager to learn more:
Start with a clear goal for each class
Let them know what they’ll be able to do by the end of this class. When the goal is achieved, the students feel empowered knowing their time was well spent.
For parents, in case the goal wasn’t achieved, it leaves your children with something tangible to work on. For additional support, you can set up free accounts for them on sites like IXL.com or Khan Academy to get real-time feedback on their children’s development through a suite of interactive activities. Real-time feedback in general should be something I’d suggest all teachers strive to provide so that it’s timely, otherwise for children, it becomes disconnected and irrelevant.
Keep the content relevant and focused with plenty of opportunities to practice
If you’re teaching new terms, and there’s an assessment, the assessment should focus on the terms that were taught in this lesson, not in previous ones.
Use a blended learning approach
Teachers know better than anyone that children are unique and have their own learning styles. Create a balance using a mix of videos, zoom classes, online flashcards and hands-on activities. By the way, they don’t have to be videos recorded by the teacher, try and include videos already available online. When you’re teaching a language for example, if we were to choose between a teacher's low budget attempt of rhyming through the vocab list compared to the plethora of quality videos already on YouTube teaching the same vocab list, then why re-invent the wheel, especially when there’s a really good wheel already out there?
As parents, there are some great ways to extend that language course with Duolingo. That’s such a great platform that you'll hear zero groans or resistance from your kids when you suggest they do their daily five- or ten-minute session. In fact, they'll like it so much, you'll rarely need to ask. That’s what good online learning should feel like. The technology is already there, so there’s no reason why we can’t make their remote learning experiences rewarding and engaging. The big win is that when learners are excited the real learning happens, and that’s when they really are going to retain the content in front of them. So how do we build that excitement?
Make it fun
Game-based learning is a multi million-dollar industry in e-Learning for a reason. It’s what motivates learners to want to learn more and more. It puts them in the driver’s seat of learning and whether they’re competing against others on a leaderboard or simply competing against themselves and their last attempt, it motivates them to want to keep improving, which means by default, they keep practicing that skill. It’s through repetition after all, where retention levels can really get elevated.
A great example of this is Studio Code where learners can use code to build a video game. There's a very tangible reward at the end of their labour, which is a great of their own creation. It’s perfect to get you through the entirety of a very rainy Sunday afternoon.
An engaged and empowered learner is a motivated learner. When they’re having so much fun learning that they forget that they’re learning, those are the moments when I know we are going to land that plane just fine.
To find out more about how Green Key can design interactive e-Learning courses for your organisation, contact Rachel Shackleton directly.
New here? Rachel writes about leadership development, communication and customer excellence, including health and well-being at work. You can read similar blogs here: