5 Tips to Build a Thriving Digital Classroom
If there’s one thing on every teacher’s and parent’s mind this summer, it’s whether kids will be able to return to the classroom. Not the digital classroom that everyone had to power through in the spring, but the real kids-in-desks, teacher-in-the-same-room physical classroom. While that’s everyone’s hope, the reality is that it might not be the case everywhere. With the benefit of time and lessons learned from the early COVID days, here are 5 tips to help you prepare for another digital semester.
1. Remember that the skills that made you a great teacher in the real world make you a great teacher in the digital world, too. You should still build your own content in your style with clear and simple instructions can help your students see the real you. If you’re recording a video or simply teaching a lecture, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and let your personality show. There’s no need to be a perfectionist. Vyanta, a WebEx partner built for teachers, can help you pick the right tools for your classroom.
2. Find a way to foster belonging and ownership. It’s a new world for your students too. Early in the year, allow them to provide input on the standards and codes that you expect them to follow for the school year. Allow them time in breakout rooms to talk with each other in small groups so that they can get to know their fellow students. Throughout the year, create space for side conversations so that they don’t lose out on some of the most important socialising skills that all students need to learn. Check out some of Adobe’s resources for educators that can help build comradely and an immersive educational experience in the classroom .
3. Provide opportunities for active learning. Add polls, break for brainstorms, drop in guided questions, create discussion threads, and more. Everyone can’t just stare at and listen to a screen all day, so build in time for students to get involved and apply the lessons that you’re teaching them.
4. Make your lessons multi-platform. Keep in mind that not all your students will have equitable access to the internet and connected devices. Some may just be reaching class through a mobile phone, so make your experiences and lessons mobile enabled.
5. Finally, find time to reflect and connect with other teachers in your school. Have you noticed any trends in participation? What do the students like and not like, and why? Schedule a time for other teachers in your school to connect and share their lessons and takeaways as well.
Every school is different. Every classroom is unique. But we are all in this together, and it’s more important than ever to stay connected and learn from each other.
No matter the size of your class or the needs of your students, Vyanta can be your partner to build the digital classroom that you need. Reach out with questions about building your best digital classroom today.