Most K-12 teachers are used to the learning experience happening between the walls of a classroom. But with the recent events that have taken place over the course of the last few months, most are forced to switch to online learning, from their own homes. The fact is, educators are having a difficult time adjusting to their new reality. That is why we took the time to unpack the different aspects that make the virtual learning experience a struggle so that you may succeed moving forward.
Lack of Discipline and Motivation
Do you know if you have the skill set of being self-disciplined? After the past few weeks, you probably have had the chance to self-reflect and gain an insight on if you're more of a diligent worker or more of a procrastinator. The fact is, we are finding that so many students are getting lost in online learning because there is no structure or routine to follow.
To help students cope with this difficulty, you can help by establishing a structure and routine as the course progresses. If you are able to lay out all of the content in an easy-to-follow manner - while finding ways to communicate directly to students - you can help take some of the pressure off of the students. While it is important to utilize this time and hopefully teach students the useful skill of being self-disciplined, it is also important to provide your students with an easy transition during these uncertain times.
The fast transition from in-person to digital materials - as well as from personal learning events to digital learning events - can create additional barriers for so many students. While advances in technology have made virtual learning a more viable option for students, it is important for educators to not assume that all students have complete access to these materials. It is also important to understand that all students may not be able to effectively navigate and use these online resources if they have never been exposed to them before.
To ensure that your students are effective distant learners, make sure you double and triple check that you are giving them complete access to all of the technology that they will need in order to be successful. Nothing gives students more stress than when they have no idea what the objective of a certain assignment is or if they can't figure out how to do it successfully. The best way to do this is imagine yourself as the student. Navigate all of your resources as if you were taking the class. This will give you a clear answer on whether or not you're setting up your students for success or failure.
The physical absence of a teacher means that students may not receive the guidance or support that they need on a daily basis. When students are physically present inside a classroom, they can gain a sense of empowerment and enhance the classroom material which can take their learning experience to a whole new level.
"I want to be back at school. I want to be in my classroom with my kids physically, not virtually. I want to be with my team again... I'm struggling the most with those human connections that I had and how to rebuild them - especially if technology is not available in a home."
In order to account for this loss, so many educators around the country are utilizing platforms such as Zoom and Google Classroom. While this may be the only solution to our current situation, it is important to understand that most teachers are struggling with this aspect. To account for this, try setting up weekly meetings with your students who need that 1 on 1 individual connection so that you are not having to rebuild your relationships once we transition out of this current state.
Learn More About What Other Teachers, Administrators, and Directors in Education Are Doing During This Time
Kevin Stoller, CEO and Founder of Kay-Twelve and the Better Learning Podcast, is joined by a panel of teachers, an administrator and a director in education. They discuss the challenges they are facing with remote learning and what advice they can give for other educators across the country, during this difficult time.