How to keep children engaged and focused learning online.
Students are rapidly becoming digital experts as students and teachers navigate through online learning together. Year 5/6 Coordinator and Year 6 Homegroup Teacher Joanne Blampied offers her expert advice on how to keep children engaged and focused in online learning while also maintaining positive health and happiness.
A balance of learning and connection
Our aim with online learning is about finding the right balance between ensuring our girls are continuing their learning experience and also keeping engaged through a wide range of activities and platforms. We must remind ourselves that students have undergone an immense learning transformation by being able to engage with platforms and programs online and this in itself is a monumental achievement.
Parents are to focus on their wellbeing
It is important to realise that nothing is going to replicate the experience of being within the four walls of an actual school. Collaboration and class discussions are such a large part of learning. Parents will recognise that learning will be slower and more varied when at home. They may be learning different things than if they were in a classroom setting. It is vital to remember that children are also anxious about what is happening around them and with anxiety comes a decrease in their ability to focus and learn. Make sure breaks are regular, exercise is encouraged and that they are eating healthily. Sometimes an exploration in the backyard and questioning nature can be a lesson more important than struggling with handwriting.
Regular breaks and keeping positive are key to success
Children will be engaged with their online learning when the activities are interesting and they are receiving positive reinforcement. They are learning very quickly about how to have online chats, how to access lessons, how to use programs and so on. It is essential that parents and children alike remain positive and to remember that in the classroom teachers instruct for around 15 minutes and then set tasks for the students to attempt independently with ‘roaming support’ and encouragement. ‘Mistakes are opportunities to learn’. No student can focus for extended periods of time so take regular brain breaks and most of all, have fun.
Children are becoming efficient problem solvers
From online learning the world at large has recognised that schools do a lot more than simply educate children in reading, writing and mathematics. The relationships, collaboration and connections that occur within a school are difficult to recreate virtually. We have learnt that our students adapt well to change, that they are technologically more advanced than they realised and they are becoming fantastic problem solvers. They are beginning to recognise their own strengths as problem solvers and how much they enjoyed the social aspects of a great school and everything within it from specialist classes to assemblies to recess play.
- online learning