Teachers worldwide are working under incredible conditions to “normalise” the learning experience for their students. This means extra hours creating interactive lessons, planning a simplified scope and sequence of lessons, and for schools with hybrid learning situations deciding which materials will be used for asynchronous learning and ones for synchronous sessions. Combine this with trying to balance their personal lives, and more teachers have admitted to experiencing burnout early on in this past school year. Of course, the availability of education technology for helping teachers teach and students learn is plentiful but dizzying – there’s so much out there! Before making a selection, let’s look at what teachers have found successful for remote and hybrid learning.
Engaging students and keeping them interested in what they’re learning is among the list of things teachers are perpetually working at improving. Each school year brings a different group of young minds with abilities, experiences, and levels of confidence. With many schools facilitating instruction within hybrid learning and remote learning environments, teachers are faced with the added challenge of engaging students who are spending an increased chunk of time in front of a screen without in-person interaction. Enquiry-based learning strategies can prove to be just what is needed for students to become excited about what their learning, while also giving teachers a clearer picture of how and what their students are understanding.
Teachers everywhere are trying different apps, software, and platforms to complement what they are already doing for in-class, remote, or blended instruction. A new tool that many teachers are implementing is MimioConnect® Blended Learning Platform. The MimioConnect platform’s user-friendly interface helps teachers build and present interactive lessons that engage learners, in any location at any time. If you are deciding on an “all-in-one solution”, MimioConnect is offering a free trial so that you can explore its many features: MimioConnect Free Trial. Because MimioConnect is a web-based platform, no software download is necessary. Simply sign up!
I don’t know about you, but my activity levels have definitely decreased this past year. I find that I’m spending more time in front of my PC for work and recreation (video chatting with family and friends, going on virtual tours, streaming channels for shows and movies, etc.). With many children in remote or hybrid learning situations, their activity levels are also decreasing as it has become easier to move from one place to sit to another place to sit (i.e. chair to sofa). Besides allowing for more physical activity during breaks (run outside for 15 minutes, 5-minute stretches every hour, 60-minute lunch and recreation break sans devices), learning should also incorporate more movement. In addition, with the push for more hands-on STEM integration, students having to school at home need a viable option for STEM learning besides online games and interactive worksheets.
When schools and universities closed campuses earlier this year, educators and students struggled with the shift to remote learning. If educators weren’t already using some method of remote learning, such as flipped or hybrid, they soon discovered that facilitating instruction from afar was quite a challenge. Especially for those in continuing, higher, and adult education institutions, giving lectures, conducting lab experiments, and having class discussions became nearly impossible. Instructors had to alter how they were accustomed to presenting material so that it was more engaging over a video conferencing application. For many, this was a frustrating and overwhelming addition to the pile of tasks they were already having to deal with, especially if they were not accustomed to incorporating tech into their instructional plans. There was also the concern that students were not feeling as connected and motivated with the lack of interactivity and faculty contact.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise in many areas, a number of schools are opting for total remote learning when school starts. What does this mean for parents who have young ones starting school for the first time? If the anxiety about starting school in person during a worldwide pandemic wasn’t enough, the prospect of starting totally online can be overwhelming. Often, parents see entering school (Early Years to Key Stage 1) as an opportunity for their children to learn social skills, understand rules and routines, and set a foundation of basic skills that will prepare them for the next 12 years of learning.