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Learning in Quarantine: Getting Your Learners Hooked! (Part 2)

#learning-assurance #self-learning #tips #teachers

How can you get your learners hooked to learning? We offer some ideas, resources and suggestions.

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COMING SOON
Engaging, exciting, thought-provoking learning triggers
Beginning Wednesday, 1st April, 2020
Stay tuned!

Note: This is part 2 of this blog post. You can access part 1 here.

The COVID-19 pandemic has jolted the world into the realm of online co-working and co-learning.

Teachers, educators and parents have been busy figuring out effective workflows using technology. Do you get all your students on a video conference? Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts – what do you use? Do you simply send them resources through your school’s ERP? How do you assess their learning - if at all? Should you just get your children to sign up for one of these online coaching services?

Questions, questions, questions!

In this two-part inaugural blog post, we suggest a list of tools and workflows that can help optimise learning in the online classroom. Supplementing this, we will offer some pedagogical tips that can help you maximise learning in this setting by making use of enticing and exciting hooks that draw the learners in towards exploring.

Use the links below to jump to individual sections –

  1. Part 1: What communication tools should you choose?
  2. Part 1: What resources should you provide?
  3. Part 2: How should you plan your online class?
  4. Part 2: What to expect from this blog

How should you plan your online class? #

Most children love digital screens and can spend hours playing games or watching videos on a phone or tablet. If you put a video of a traditional boring lecture into a video, do you think it will automatically draw their attention and make them learn better? Don’t think so. What if you provide them with the PDF version of their textbook - will that make them suddenly find the textbook exciting? Not really.

What is dull and unexciting will remain dull and unexciting regardless of how you access it!

So what should you aim for when planning your online class? Should everyone pay attention? Or should everyone just have fun? The answer lies somewhere in the middle. You should aim to create a reason for your students that is so catchy and interesting that they automatically pay attention.

Consider this –

Do you know that there is a species in the animal kingdom that never makes its own food? All the food it consumes is either hunted or manufactured by some other animal. How do you think that works out for them? Why do other animals let this species eat their food? What does this species do if there are no other animals around it?

An introduction like this would make most primary school children want to know more about this enigmatic species. Perhaps some of them would already know about parasites. Some others might say their pet dogs fit the description! Or even they themselves do since all the food they eat is cooked by an adult.

What we have here is an engaging, curiousity-inducing, relatable introduction; something that would make the listener want to respond or ask questions.

This is what we call a learning trigger – a hook.

With this, we offer some tips to keep in mind when designing your online lecture –

  1. An engaging trigger: Create a hook that would draw the learners in.
  2. Curiousity lives in the context: Think of your learners’ context - what do they already know, what are their likes and dislikes, what is their perspective of the world around them.
  3. Give them a reason: Why should the learner open page 23 of their textbook? Just because their teacher said so? Give them a better reason than that! Make them curious - what are they missing out by not flipping to page 23? (Read the previous two points for a hint!)
  4. Break free from the textbook: Now is the opportunity to get your learners to read the textbook like a book. No need to go sequentially from chapter one to the last, read whatever interests you! If you know your textbook well, you will know its content well too.
  5. Relate to their life at home: We are currently living through an unprecedented time. Most of us have never experienced a lockdown before - certainly not of this proportion. This creates a new learning opportunity for children since the dynamics of everyday life at home have suddenly changed. They have their family adults available to them at all times. Use this opportunity to get them to interact with their parents and grandparents, listen to stories and anecdotes, do little experiments, create art, write a diary!

Try these out and let us know. Do they work for you? We’d love to hear from you - who knows, what you did might inspire many other teachers too!

It goes without saying that these points can help improve the engagement in an in-person lecture as well!

What to expect from this blog #

We hope the suggestions above provide you with an enhanced understanding of how to plan your online classroom. Over the next couple of weeks, we will share a handful of engaging triggers on this blog every day. These triggers will span across all subjects and grades to ensure that no teacher gets left behind!

There will also be a lot of insightful and practical ideas for parents, teachers and educators to make learning an exciting experience for their learners. Stay tuned.

Stay indoors. Stay safe. Stay healthy.


Disclaimer: The authors, Ignus Pahal and Chachi are in no way related to any of the third-party platforms and services mentioned in this blog post.

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