As COVID-19 transforms our traditional classrooms into virtual classrooms almost overnight, distance learning may seem to be popping up. In reality, however, the shift to distance education has been steadily increasing since before this pandemic. Here it is.
Why Distance Education is Necessary
Nothing is perfect and distance education is not the solution to every problem in school. However, it meets the needs of diverse students and districts that are not possible in traditional offline classrooms.Read more about coaching class management software
Fully virtual schools with online teaching software have emerged over the years, spanning multiple states, and their popularity is growing. While some families have realized that full-time distance education is not a good fit for their personal lifestyle, for others it is a must. Examples include competitive student-athletes with strict training schedules, students with mental or physical ailments, or families looking for day-to-day flexibility.
3 Keys to Effective Online Education
Everyone’s teaching style is slightly different, but all successful educators follow the same best practices in online education. These five simple principles are the framework for all the best online learning strategies.
1. Clear communication with the student’s family.
Families want to hear from you often and regularly. Students and parents may begin to feel disconnected. Make sure your “virtual door” is always open and share your email and phone number early and often in multiple places. Clear and respectful communication is the key to building relationships and classroom communities.
2. Diversify class types.
Training should be a mix of synchronous (occurring in real time) and asynchronous (non-scheduled, self-directed). Simultaneous training via phone calls, video lessons, or live chat allows students to ask questions and build relationships with teachers. Asynchronous activities, such as discussion boards or recorded lectures, allow students to complete assignments at their own time and pace. Both styles have their pros and cons, and each needs its own unique approach.
3. Choose the right tool for your class.
A school’s Learning Management System (LMS) is probably the primary tool it uses for direct communication and posting of assignments. Know this early and don’t hesitate to ask a tech-savvy colleague. You also need separate tools like Google Voice or Zoom or phone calls, live classes, and video chats.
Beyond these basics, there are many educational technology tools that can revolutionize pedagogy and engage students. This is the fun part! Discover, experiment, and implement new tools in the classroom using the tips and tricks provided later in this article.
What are the most common strategies for distance education?
Mastering course content while encouraging student engagement can be challenging in any environment. We provide important online education ideas on how to make classes more interactive and promote active learning. Throughout this article, we detail the five most common strategies in distance education.
1. Adapt your class to work online.
Enhance face-to-face lessons into an online experience with engaging discussion, screen recording, and interactive technology tools.
2. Set clear expectations for students and families.
Prepare for a successful year for students and families by sharing your expectations and deadlines early and often.
3. Build a strong online classroom community.
Classroom communities are essential in virtual environments and can be nurtured through video chat, purposeful free time, and class bulletin boards.
4. Connect with parents and stay engaged.
Keep parents engaged throughout the school year through engaging communications such as weekly newsletters and personal phone calls.
5. Find and use the educational technology that fits your needs.
Collaborate with fellow educators and identify the specific needs needed to find and implement the best tools for your classroom.