Online Learning: A Blessing or a Curse?

Online Learning: A Blessing or a Curse?

June 25, 2021


Does teaching online have to be so difficult?

Have you ever shut off your Zoom after a long class and just let out a super long sigh?

Teaching a bored and distracted classroom can be exhausting, especially since children can get quickly distracted by pretty much anything. Since the onset of Covid-19, many schools have shifted to home-based learning arrangements, thereby making students engagement even more challenging than before.

In this era of online learning, teachers have to juggle the lesson materials, the technology, and the students' needs amongst a whole host of other responsibilities. After speaking to teachers about their headaches, we think we might have some ways to help  enhance learning and engagement in your online classrooms.

What makes online teaching different from in-person teaching?

Online classroom environments are especially remarkable because of the innovative ways in which teachers can enhance learning, interaction and engagement through the employment of digital tools. Common features used in these virtual classrooms include online games, collaborative interfaces, simulations, concept mapping and more.

At the same time, however, teachers may have difficulty making full use of these virtual platforms. As it stands, we ordinary folk have to deal with many issues in the age of work-from-home arrangements – WIFI connectivity, mic issues, and non-conducive environments. On top of that, teachers also need to juggle multiple lesson windows, upload compatible digital content, and deal with the perennial inability to see student’s faces!

Even when students have cameras on, it is difficult to track their engagement because they could multitask on their screens or put their mics on mute. These factors make it difficult for teachers to adapt to and effectively utilise an online environment to drive engagement in virtual classrooms.

How can I make online learning more accessible and engaging?

Online classrooms lack the face-to-face element of physical classrooms, which inherently helps to encourage responses among learners. However, that does not mean that you cannot run an engaging online class.

We know it can get difficult to manage online learning platforms. However, spending time to familiarize yourself with the online platform’s various features and tools available can make all the difference. It might also be helpful to look for platforms that provide you with the clearest instructions to get started. A stress-free guide to help you understand the available features will make it less tedious for you in the beginning and can make all the difference!

At Doyobi, we’ve worked with teachers to create a comprehensive onboarding programme to make this step as easy as possible. However, some other simple steps you can also follow after that include:

  1. Make it social - Online classroom sizes may be too large to manage. Breaking it down into smaller groups encourages learners to interact, discuss, and debate the content among themselves in smaller sections with the teacher moving across virtual breakout rooms.
  2. Encourage speaking up - It is difficult to “feel” a room’s atmosphere virtually. Empowering students to feel like they can express themselves using quizzes, polls, or even the raise hands function, would help create a more responsive and vibrant online environment.
  3. Give me a break! - Allow kids time to recharge after 30-40 minutes of a learning session. This break can help students to reduce study fatigue, maintain attention and maintain a positive learning attitude.

What steps can I take to make my lessons flow better?

Aside from having a solid lesson plan in mind, here are a few starting points to make your online lessons flow better:

  1. Set your goals before the lesson - Decide the appropriate number of topics to be covered in a single lesson, especially considering that attention spans online may be limited. Hone in on the essential aspects of the lesson that you may want to highlight.
  2. Have your lesson materials on hand - Understand the resources required to teach lesson content to students online. Incorporating simple things like having your laptop charged, using a good quality camera, or having a headset can make all the difference when you need to run a virtual lesson.
  3. Create smooth transitions - Introduce videos or games that are easily implemented online, make for great transitions between key points in your lesson. They also help give students a chance to test their knowledge and collect their thoughts.

Online engagement can be easy!

In these challenging times, we understand that it can be difficult for teachers to adapt to the virtual learning environment, but having the right platforms to help take the stress out of the tech allows teachers to focus on what’s most important – the teaching.


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