It is not surprising that in every classroom, the division between active children participators and children hesitant to engage with virtual classroom participation is prevalent.
It can get difficult trying to involve reluctant kids who don’t want to pitch their voices into discussions than other outspoken children regardless of them being either introverted, slow to contribute, or basically just having a bad day.
Of recent, classroom learning has taken on another easier and faster platform to a virtual platform, and just like everything else, a good or bad side is present.
No doubt the virtual classroom has enabled keeping in touch with each other no matter the adversity, regardless some challenges are still present in what teachers would face in progressing remote learning.
A major disadvantage of an online platform is the limitation it sets on communication, which can make it hard to know when a child wants to speak or make it hard for a teacher to read subtle but pivotal classroom elements regarding discourse like a child’s body language and facial expressions.
Furthermore, not every student can have access to technology, and also not many have the privacy the remote classroom requires, and consequently, teachers request children to submit their work through an email which can prevent visual communication between teachers and students.
Yes, technology is broader in this time and age and children are more responsive to this innovation than adults that lacked this innovative touch in their own time.
But, one should note that technology is not a teacher but a tool, so teachers still have a valuable job to do in reassuring and personally supporting children to harness this tool.
personally supporting children to harness this tool. In this post, a list of synchronous and asynchronous smart strategies have been accumulated to combine the voices and values of the kids, from the quietest to those with disturbed schedules.
These are some ways teachers can harness synchronous methods in aiding to boost virtual classroom participation.
Discussion using spider web method
During remote learning, using any live chat app, a teacher could infuse questions at the start of a meeting, the children will have to give in their responses freely.
This will cause a jump-off and lead to a wider class discussion.
While students conversed through the video, teachers should listen attentively and track the flow of the conversation which can be with lines drawn on a sheet of paper, this is what refers to as spider web.
At the end of the discussion, the teacher can share their drawing over video and further ask the students to reflect on the experience and also what they learned about from those who spoke, who listened, and who worked on the ideas of others.
Using chat to promote understanding
Teachers should utilize the chat to feature to promote more participation from children.
Teachers could request that the children reply to their answers to the questions or improvisations of using emojis, like a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to show if they properly understood what the teacher said.
Flip the classroom to stir deeper discussion
At the start of a live class, students should briefly summarize the ideas they have learned together and then the teachers can go forward in dividing the class into breakout rooms to deal with related problems in small groups this is what refers to as flipping the classroom.
Giving students autonomy
Teachers should allow more students to have more autonomy of assignments, this will encourage better discussions within the virtual learning sector.
Giving students much freedom as possible to freely experiment, research, and pursue their interests within the content area. The teacher will be surprised at how much the students have a lot to say.
Although a few teachers and also students agreed that synchronous discussions were more engaging because they took on similarities with the traditional classroom.
Regardless many educators found that asynchronous discussions were more suitable because they allow students with low bandwidth, who has schedule restrictions or were uncomfortable engaging with a full class.
Online forums can create dialogue
Teachers could input online classroom apps like Google Classroom’s question feature to get the class responding to readings and discussion prompts during remote learning.
When each student comments, the teacher can reply with clarifying questions to create a dialogue and also ask every student to reply to at least two of their peers’ comments for the creation of a broader base of discussion.
Shifting brainstorming station online
When brainstorming activities are conducted in traditional classroom environments, small groups of students are asked to rotate around the room to different stations to respond to prompts and view and also add to each groups’ responses.
To do this online, a teacher can divide the students into groups online and create a shared Google doc or either a series of Google slides for the prompts/questions.
Each group would leave their thoughts under the questions by the assigned date and then follow up by leaving comments on the other groups’ replies the next day.
This strategy will still allow the students to maintain an awareness of classroom community in a virtual setting.
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