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Description: Children, teachers, and parents are currently facing a new way of learning – online education. It is a big change, and it can have a negative impact if not handled correctly. As such, we need to support each other and make sure younger generations get access to the best education possible.

Online education is no longer optional for many of today’s children and adults. As the world goes deeper into the pandemic, students, teachers, and parents everywhere have been forced into an unfamiliar environment – attending school online.  

This can be difficult for anyone involved, especially if it’s the first time, but both teachers and parents need to adapt and find ways to keep learning interesting for the students. Otherwise, we risk an increase in the school dropout rate – a trend that’s already taking shape in the private education sector.

As such, it’s our job to help teachers become better at online teaching. True, it won’t be easy, especially since young children have a shorter attention span and are easily distracted. However, the experience in itself brings lots of rewards in the shape of entertained children and happy parents! In addition, it may be a step in the right direction, since education was already on the brink of change. 

Learn by Following an Example

Following the example of highly trained educators all over the world, we managed to understand the steps a beginner online teacher should take. We also learned that, just like in an in-person class, you need to expect the unexpected. 

For instance, one great way to make children trust the person talking to them from the screen is to use lots of gestures to accompany your words. Intonation also helps in conveying the information and helping children remember it at a later time. This technique is called  TPR (total physical response) and is mostly used for teaching children a new language. 

Another way to make sure the kids are paying attention is by asking open ended questions. Young children get easily distracted and questions are a handy tool that brings them back to the main subject. In addition, questions can help solidify the lesson and improve logical thinking based on the information being taught.

Lastly, if you’re new to the whole online teaching experience, it helps to literally learn by watching others (by example). Take an online course (maybe something in the childcare category) and study the teachers and the techniques they use to maintain interest. You’ll also be able to ask questions and talk to specialists in the area, so don’t be shy!

Another option is to watch short videos of teachers and educators trying to convey a message to a younger audience. Look for information on how to appear more lively on the camera and use light and angles to change the perspective. This sort of information is easy to find online, so all it takes is Google search skills and your willingness to learn. 

The Power of Gamification

Teachers and educators often turn the class learning experience into a game. This way, a boring lesson can be transformed into a friendly competition with quests and challenges. Who wouldn’t want to join?

But did you know this technique (called gamification) is heavily used by big companies as well? They employ it to teach staff new methods and drive productivity. It’s also a great way to keep motivation up and avoid boredom and tiredness when something happens in a less stimulating environment (like an online education platform).

As such, teachers can use the same tools to drive children’s interest towards learning while playing. You can create a multi-level learning system with rewards and points of experience that can only be explored if the lower levels are mastered. 

In addition, an online learning platform has a lot of cool tools such as:

  • Interactive games (you can challenge the kids to an actual mini game when they feel bored)
  • Multimedia files (kids love watching colorful videos or listening to upbeat songs)
  • Collaborative Work Options (online platforms allow users to share screens or work together on a project)

Lastly, it’s important to get the parents involved as well. They should receive a daily or weekly report on their children’s progress and level. Also, make sure to invite them in assistance and send them easy to use tips on how to keep their children involved. 

In the end, it’s important to approach online education as the next step in the natural evolution of the system and not just as a temporary situation. If we give online platforms a chance and keep our minds open to change, education may have a better chance at reform. 

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Oli Kang is a working mum who has a passion for teaching and all things educational. With a background in marketing, Oli manages the digital channels and content at Courses AU. Profile Photo Link