On a regular school day, teachers used to spend hours with their students. Knowledge thriving on student-teacher relationships was the foundation of classrooms. This changed drastically when the pandemic hit leaving them at zero real-time with students. Whether in the classroom or while teaching remotely, communication is always the key.
The only way to build effective, long-lasting relationships is through meaningful communication. It is an important skill that every modern student should master. Cramming before a big interview won’t do the job if students want to make a mark in the collaborative workplaces of the future. When it involves acquiring indispensable communication skills, there’s no time like the present.
DIGITAL LEARNING & COMMUNICATION
Digital learning is becoming exponentially popular in modern education. The opportunity to communicate digitally with students and their families is the foundation. While this communication with all stakeholders takes time, it is worth every ounce.
But, communicating effectively in digital learning environments can be difficult. This is notably true when the transition to digital learning is sudden or unplanned. Making an enormous revamp is a frustrating and confusing experience for everyone involved. Albeit, it can be made easier with the right resources. Students today find it easy to pick up new electronic devices and learn how to communicate with them. But, the effectiveness of their communication and the ability to persuade it beyond peer groups is questionable.
HOW TO ACE DIGITAL COMMUNICATION
The world of communication includes a vast array of media. Be it audios, videos, presentations, websites, DVDs, simulations, and virtual meeting environments. Students start communicating digitally at an early age and will continue to do. Knowing how to select an appropriate medium to communicate can help students achieve more at school and beyond.
OPPURTUNITIES OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATION
Digital communication levels the playing field for different types of learners. While some students may struggle with writing, others will find their stronger voice in images, video and audio. Special-education students may also find it easier to express themselves in words or through visuals rather than in writing. Although it may appear simple on the surface, effective communication includes a give-and-take exchange that consists of elements such as: body language, eye contact, summarizing, paraphrasing, responding etc.
From audiobooks to apps, there is an ocean of resources to be used for improving student communication skills. Students can simultaneously listen and read along with audiobooks. They can also hear how the speaker pronounces and enunciates different words or phrases.
ROLE OF SOFT SKILLS
While teachers are using technology in the classroom, uncertainty about weak soft skills remain. Developing hard and soft skills are crucial to successful teaching and learning experience. A majority of educators believe that technology has a positive impact when it comes to teachable skills such as IT literacy. Others feel that it either hinders or has no bearing, on a student’s personality-oriented interpersonal skills.
HOW TO UPSKILL
Effective upskilling requires blended learning journeys. This can be a mixture of traditional learning, learning aids, and non-traditional methods like soft skill coaching.
Given the critical need for soft skills in the job market now and in the future, training employees is not enough. It is also crucial to ensure that new talent coming in the door is ready with the most critical interpersonal skills on day one. Hence school is the right place to begin. Remote classrooms should make effective use of collaboration through teambuilding exercises. This will foster a culture of mutual trust, and reward team effort as much as individual contributions. It offers students the chance to work in small groups. It also gives them the opportunity to debate their opinions, accommodate others, and work together towards a common goal. This will inturn develop collaboration and leadership skills. Students should also be trained for goal-centric thinking . They should embrace technologies that actually help them achieve concrete and valued goals. Online videos, podcasts, and digital gaming are opening up new ways to help students develop critical thinking skills.
Likewise, 3D printers are inspiring a new generation of engineers, architects, and designers. These combine problem-solving skills with creativity and innovation. Student-centered learning models will also help to instill independent analytical skills. This brings students into decision making. They can also evaluate where they can be appraised and get feedback on their own success.
HOW TO LEARN EFFECTIVELY
Learning how to use new technology is a skill in itself, followed by troubleshooting skills. This will help them solve their own basic problems. They can also accurately describe a problem to find solutions. Those same skills will also help them tackle any crisis in general. This lets students see first-hand what behavior to incorporate for a group to work together. This approach also teaches them to become better problem solvers.
Technology can also instill time management skills among students. This will help teachers to manage their own time more efficiently. It also lets them keep track of all their notes, documents, and images in one central repository. This in turn makes it easy to seek out everything they need for an assignment. Lastly, nothing will have a bigger impact than cultivating a playful attitude towards technology. This will enable students to embrace opportunities and use them more effectively.
We are unaware of the technologies of our future. However, we do know that students need substantive opportunities to learn how to approach the future, solve problems, select appropriate media and express themselves effectively across different scenarios. If we give them real exposure to the abundant media, students can become adept users of the next generation of tools. Students are not just studying how to use tools when they learn to communicate effectively in Web media. They’re also learning to approach a project, as well as understand their audience, message and purpose. In addition, students are learning how to think critically as they choose an effective way to present their message.