Online learning has been a big learning curve for us all recently! I thought it might be useful to come up with 5 tips for successful online learning! Here they are:
1. Get organised! Have a little checklist by your side so you remember all the small things. I created one for our LIVE lessons which outlines what I need to remember to do BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the lesson and it has helped me massively. I feel like it just clears a little bit of space in my already cluttered brain for the lesson itself rather than worrying about whether I've set it to record or altered the settings!
2. Chunk your tasks. Instead of it feeling too much like a lecture, keep teacher input short and sweet and then set the students off on an independent task for 5 minutes. Model a process, ask them to try. Doing this in a chunked way rather than high energy delivering for 20 minutes followed by setting students off to work independently for 30 minutes is likely to help us to not burn out and also likely to keep the students engaged and productive - producing (hopefully) more work!
3. CONSISTENCY! When it comes to interacting with students during a live lesson, there are lots of options including hands up, chat function and unmuting themselves and speaking out loud. Whatever methods you want to use to check student understanding and answer their questions, be sure students are clear of your expectations and know which is appropriate and when. This will help to keep momentum in your lesson. Perhaps reiterating your expectations of how to engage in the lesson at the start of each session will help students feel more confident with joining in.
4. Variety and differentiation! Include a variety of task types in your lesson to keep engagement high. You might include a FORMS quiz, or a poll followed by a video clip to watch. A mind map, an essay response, planning ideas out, drawing, visualisation techniques etc etc - the list goes on! Keeping it varied is key. Having differentiation resources ready to go, to send through to students through the chat function can be a great way to differentiate during a live lesson if students are struggling. Being prepared, anticipating areas students might need help with by creating these documents in advance will help students get the most out of your lesson and stick with it rather than giving up.
5. Be kind to you! We are all low key perfectionists, I know this; it's a teacher thing! But we must be kind to ourselves whilst we are adjusting once again to teaching outside of our comfort zone. Don't expect to be an expert right away, we are learning each day and that's okay! Do a bit of research and play around with ideas until you fall into your groove - which you will! You've got this!