As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” We can realize the significance of education from the numerous research about education being the basis of progress in every country, society, and family. The several benefits of being educated include providing stability, independence, brain development, critical thinking skills, social skills, accessibility, and better opportunities.
With covid 19 numbers still high, especially in India, and in-person education getting delayed, online classes for kids seem to be the new normal. This pandemic has made the world realize how much a society can benefit from remote learning. In a country like India, where a significant amount of the population is deprived of education, online classes for kids in India can help in reducing the illiteracy rate. With flexible schedules, lower costs, and a vast range of courses, remote learning helps eliminate barriers and allows people to learn easily at their own pace. Online learning also helps people get familiar with technology and takes care of their mental well-being. Adjusting to the sudden change in online classes can be challenging, but kids are amazingly flexible and learn new things way quicker than elders through their positive and consistent approach.
Improving the quality and rate of learning during online classes is challenging for both teachers and parents. Kids may get interrupted during online classes due to digital and non-digital distractions at home, might feel tired by sitting in front of the screen for long periods with no breaks in between, and might find difficulty understanding concepts. But online classes for kids have proved to be the need of the hour. Teachers and parents must combine hands to motivate kids during online classes to enhance their learning experience to ensure that learning during online classes is not compromised. This article discusses the three most effective techniques to motivate kids to learn during online classes.
Interactive classes to increase student engagement
The key to encouraging interaction in class is to make sure that the kids feel comfortable while sharing their opinions, and more importantly, they realize that their opinion matters. Providing them with validation reassures them that they are encouraged to engage without the fear of being judged. Teachers can also engage students in class by connecting what is taught with real-life examples and asking students to share their experiences. This technique would help students relate to what is being taught and increase student engagement, leading to interactive classes.
Online teaching also allows the teachers to experiment with their teaching methodologies. Boring lectures can now be substituted by various educational technology tools which encourage student engagement. These tools also help in being considerate about the student’s social and emotional health, which might get compromised due to online learning and staying indoors for long periods, for example, during a pandemic. Simple and fun applications like Flipgrid, Peardeck, Nearpod, and Zoom breakout rooms are some of the numerous platforms that teachers can use to engage students in class.
Teachers can also use the game-based learning technique to make online classes for kids interactive. This technique allows students to work in teams which also helps in improving their social and communication skills. This technique also provides an opportunity for the development of non-cognitive skills in kids. Giving kids the pleasure of playing a game motivates them to improve their performance while making sure they learn during the process. For example, mental math activities or brain teasers might be an interesting way to motivate students to learn before starting a virtual class. Connecting learning with fun activities also allows teachers to analyze the performance of the students while making sure kids enjoy the learning process.
Focusing, learning, and adjusting in online classes can be difficult for some students. According to the Expectancy-Value theory, rewarding people for their work helps raise the value of the task. Recognizing the smallest of children’s achievements and incentivizing them for their dedication, efforts, and progress in academics, especially Primary grade kids, can help them stay motivated and focused and encourage them to perform better. Parents and teachers must also focus on the progress and efforts of the kids rather than on the results.
Rewarding kids during online classes can be used as a tool for positive reinforcement, but teachers and parents must make sure that the students realize that rewards will have to be earned. Different types of rewards can be given to kids during online classes, for example, giving them some extra playtime to play virtual games with their classmates, some words of encouragement from teachers or parents, or virtual stickers. Teachers and parents must make sure that the kids realize which behaviour is being rewarded for continuing it in the future.
Setting up a schedule and routine
Taking classes online can cause a lot of kids to develop a laid-back attitude which would have an adverse impact on their learning process. To ensure that kids have a stable schedule and learning process, parents should make sure that their kids build a proper work ethic and follow a proper routine. Setting deadlines and expectations are strong motivators because they increase the value of the task being performed and the chances of success. To stay on track, students can use digital to-do lists, planners, calendars, screen limiting applications, etc., which would also help them accomplish their goals, evaluate their progress, and create new objectives. Setting a proper schedule and routine would also teach kids responsibility and independence.
The techniques discussed above, increasing family engagement, giving children control over their learning experience, maintaining accountability for their work, and trying out different learning styles to see which one suits kids the best, can help increase kids’ motivation during online classes. The combined efforts of teachers and parents will be needed to enhance the overall learning experience of kids and ensure that online classes in India are as useful for kids as on-site classes. A consistent and positive approach will lead to better and more focused learning.
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