By Devin Partida
Educators strive to make learning fun and interactive, but the pandemic made that more challenging. Instead of bonding with students in person and creating group activities, teachers have to think outside the box to keep young people interested in heavy material. Here are six ways to encourage learning success in virtual classrooms that focus on STEM subjects.
1. Rely on More Visuals
Some students may feel fine while listening to lectures through their headphones all day, but virtual learning isn’t for everyone. Other young people may need visuals to stay engaged, especially when learning about new or complicated STEM topics.
Educators can use graphs and charts to create visuals that turn into memories. They’ll help students recall information better on tests because they can picture what they’re talking about. Research has also proven that students with poor reading comprehension perform better on exams when they’ve learned material with visual aids.
2. Take Digital Field Trips
While students attend class from home, they can still explore the world with help from their teachers. Look into digital field trips that demonstrate real-life STEM practices to show students what they could become. They might find a career they didn’t know about before or just have fun. It broadens their world and benefits their development, even when they experience it all at home.
3. Communicate With Parents
Parents must get involved in their child’s education. Younger kids need in-person role models to learn timeliness and personal responsibility. Communicate with your student’s parents about how they can help their children thrive academically.
After the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed in early 2020, parents became entitled to 12 weeks off with full pay if they had to stay home to assist their child’s education. Many people didn’t know this part of the bill became law, so inform your students’ parents or caregivers to ensure they can do everything in their power to help.
4. Connect With Experts
Videoconferencing may feel limiting at first, but it opens every classroom to new possibilities. Connect with scientists and experts in a designated STEM field about your current class material or future lesson plans. They could set up a video meeting to walk your students through what they do and how they got there. It’s an easy way to encourage learning success in virtual classrooms because it gets kids excited about why their education matters.
5. Assign Student Presentations
Most students struggle when they sit around and listen all day. It’s hard for them to stay engaged when they don’t actively participate. Assign more student presentations so everyone gets a voice in your virtual classroom.
They could create a short video or presentation or record themselves talking about a subject. Play it during class so everyone feels personally involved. It’s more entertaining for students than listening to lectures or sending emails, especially if they get to choose how they’ll present on a topic.
6. Talk About Virtual Internships
Older students can take their education in problem-solving and critical thinking out into the real world without leaving their front door. High school educators should talk about virtual internships available to people in ninth through 12th grades. They can apply for positions in numerous fields, including:
Participating in a virtual internship allows students to test their interests and narrow down their career choices. It may make it easier to pick a college because they’ll know what degrees support their dreams.
Encourage Learning Success in Virtual Classrooms
Educators have the power to encourage learning success in virtual classrooms with tips like these. Whether you teach little kids about science or high school seniors about complex mathematical theorems, these strategies will get your students involved so they enjoy their STEM education more.
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