E-learning education became the main avenue for students to continue learning during Covid-19 lockdowns. All levels of education from elementary to post-secondary changed from in-person classes to virtual classrooms almost overnight. Although some students were able to make the transition to online learning, other grade levels found it difficult to manage. Teachers were forced to adapt by learning new techniques that applied more to the virtual classroom. These are some of the most engaging virtual teaching ideas that kept students motivated during online classes.
One advantage of the move to online learning was that teachers and students could use tools they had little occasion to use during in-person classes. Tools like telecommunication platforms like Zoom or Skype. Tools like Google Classroom, ILX, or other online learning platforms. These tools became essential to keep students learning and participating during class and outside of it.
Apart from platforms that helped students and teachers communicate, there were also plenty of education-related tools that helped in other ways. Document processing programs, cloud-storage platforms, and PDF editors all made it possible for students and teachers to share digital documents to continue learning.
One of those tools, Lumin PDF, is especially useful to help students view, create, and edit and annotate PDFs documents with each other. Lumin lets users convert other file types into PDFs for easy viewing and sharing. Students can even collaborate on a document thanks to Lumin’s compatibility with cloud platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox.
Getting students to communicate with each other is difficult enough in a regular classroom, it is even harder when they are physically isolated from one another. But teachers were still able to get students to participate in this simple exercise thanks to communication tools and platforms, where students were able to chat or join online groups.
Think-pair-repair is an exercise that gets students talking to one another (in pairs first, and then fours, sixes, etc.) about a specific topic. The pairs grow whenever they have decided to ask others for their input or arguments, until one side of the class argues for one idea, while the other half argues for the opposite leading to a great debate at the end.
Part of successful classroom instruction is letting students take a break from teacher-led learning to talk to each other. But teachers can use this social time to get students to participate more easily in group work that requires quick-thinking and, most important, can be fun. Improvisation can help students get out of their shells, while also getting them to retain important information.
Students can work in pairs or groups of three or four, depending on classroom size, and play a quiz game. One group of students can start throwing out questions and give multiple choice answers off the top of their heads to see if the other students can guess the correct answer. This type of game taps into a student’s creativity while also bringing some levity to a long day of study.
While group work is important, letting students come up with their ideas and develop their thoughts is just as important. With brainwriting, students can have a moment to themselves to write out their most pressing ideas, questions, thoughts about the topic being discussed. They have free rein to put everything down on paper and then share them with everyone else to refine their ideas and listen to their fellow student’s thoughts.
Chain notes take a very simple idea (passing notes) and turn it into an educational exercise that tests students’ comprehension, ability to think quickly and gets them participating. In the digital realm, teachers can send out PDFs to specific students who become the leaders of a group. These leaders then pass the question on each PDF to other students of their choosing, who then write down a response to pass on to another student, etc.