In recent years, buckets and buckets of ink have been spilled over how much time we spend in front of our screens. That was before the world took an unprecedented turn and forced us to stay home, where our phones and computers provide our only link to the outside world.
Let’s face it, maintaining student engagement can be tough, even when you are with your students in the same physical space. That said, there are things you can do to increase students’ active participation in online learning sessions and activities.
In my last post, I shared my perspective on the choice I believe we, as a science education community, are facing as we make the transition to distance learning. To summarize, I believe that science educators are at a decision point. Do we allow our current challenges to move us backwards, toward teacher-centered, didactic science learning? Or do we move forward toward student-centered, constructivist science learning, embracing the current challenges along the way? I am taking the stance that we must move forward. We must apply the educational theories and paradigms that have guided our classroom approach to design high-quality distance learning.
Online instruction can present unique opportunities and challenges for students and teachers. This is certainly true for the youngest of our students and their teachers.
In addition to supporting student learning, routines build efficiency in the classroom, both on-site and online.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States has been hard on all of us. That’s for sure. Schools have closed for extended periods of time, some indefinitely, and parents are at their wits’ end trying to balance the regular demands of managing households while providing school-like structure and normalcy for their children.
Learning is a social endeavor. You already know this, but how do you honor this cornerstone of education when you teach virtually? Let us offer some ideas.