Remote teaching and learning have become a part of the evolving landscape of education. A plethora of online learning environments and tools to support teaching and learning are available. These include communication emails, discussion boards, synchronous chat and assessment tools. Besides, you have integrated learning environments such as Blackboard or WebCT.
Similarly, there are a variety of tools to facilitate searching. There are more ways than ever to connect teachers and students. There are also tools that help with the lesson planning, class delivery, and storing or distribution of resources. The benefits of e-learning include the opportunity to learn beyond time and place constraints. This also helps to communicate and collaborate virtually across countries.
Teaching strategies are as varied as the classrooms they are used in. There is no “one size fits all” method to prepare an effective teaching kit. But if strategized they reliably deliver the lightbulb moments. Hence, it is also important in terms of which tools to choose and how to employ them.
Creating e-learning resources and embedding them in well-designed learning activities can be challenging. Toolkits could be created using personal expertise and convenience based on best practices. It provides a structured resource that can be used to plan, scope and cost activities for the curriculum.
Having a simple, logically organised toolkit helps to reduce the time required to plan a lesson. But if one is not a seasoned teacher, it is always better to be a little extra planned. Without the natural chain of student interactions, many teachers feel like they fly through their online lessons.
Toolkits are not only designed to make teaching easy for practitioners. These can also provide guidance and a comprehensive resource of relevant material. It is a good idea to have all the supplementary teaching resources in order. This can include self-assisted learning like games and online activities. This can also include video-assisted learning tools that students can use for review or clarification. They can also use tools like Wikipedia, YouTube or other reliable online content platforms.
To add some creativity to online lessons, free online art tools help to let students produce and share their own digital media. The face of classroom display has transformed from blackboards to whiteboards. This has further moved to projectors and interactive flat-panel displays over the century. It is undeniably helpful to own a large, central display that the teacher can interact with directly.
A touchscreen monitor acts as an excellent middle ground. It helps teachers wanting to teach online do so without breaking their flow. Digital whiteboard software emulates and expands upon the function of physical whiteboards. The familiar functionality is vital for continuity with live classes. This also offers teachers a first-hand interactive experience tool. Also, it aids to reduce preparation time to transit from in-class teaching to digital teaching.
A large part of teaching is also about reinforcement to improve students’ understanding and retention. In a classroom environment, assignments can be physically handed out as worksheets, books, or projects. There is also an option to deliver the teaching aids digitally with online submission of the completed work. Often overlooked, social media can also be quite useful in keeping all the participants in a class connected. Granted, this is often true in case of Facebook with its private groups and file-sharing features.
However, social media channels can be re-purposed for education as a communication tool too. We are talking especially about those with advanced functions. And even more specifically, looking at the messaging apps built into popular social platforms is a way to go. Forming groups on Messenger, WhatsApp, or any local equivalent are great ways to stay in touch. And many allow attaching files and even live voice or video chat.
To ease the sharing of both ideas and resources, education should re-purpose business tools and improve tech literacy concurrently. Communication apps like Slack are set up for teacher-moderated group discussions, student workgroups, and searched file sharing. It integrates well with calendar and task-tracking apps for assessment dates, assignments, deadlines, and self-study tasks.
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software used to handle a lot of the administrative functions of teaching and learning. Though it is more common in professional settings, an LMS also can be added to traditional education.
Taking inspiration from the games is also more likely to increase classroom participation. For example, creating a scoring system with rewards for extrinsic motivation might help. Encouraging friendly competition with levels for students to pass can make the experience more engaging. In Mathematics, for instance, students can compete in a live mathematics challenge against peers in class or across the world. The more points they score, the more in-game rewards they win.
Whichever approach is chosen, one can be confident that students are getting more than just fun and games. Including short exercises in between lectures is likely to increase student understanding and retention too.
Whatever you do to manoeuvre students from a passive role into an active role within the classroom improves their learning. It also helps to keep them from getting bored, frustrated or losing concentration. A teaching kit should be a combination of all and should result in an active online classroom environment.