As the beginning of the school year is creeping up on us, many schools are reconsidering the need for online options. There are too many variables at play right now for any educator to feel they have everything under control for this school year. Historically, stability was often a reason for many to enter the education field, but stability is nowhere to be seen this fall. As educators struggle with keeping a variety of balls in the air, one of the key issues in all settings is how to keep students motivated and engaged.
Recently, a study of rural elementary teachers outlined a few key factors for engaging students and then keeping them engaged online.
The first suggestion from elementary teachers was to start the course by setting the stage with a clear set of behavior expectations for students working online. Simple things like expecting students to keep their cameras active, how to attract the teacher’s attention by raising their hand via video or using a Zoom tool, etc. This is not particularly different than setting beginning of the year behavior expectations in a traditional classroom. Students always appreciate having clear expectations. Interestingly, only about a third of teachers responded that they had set video lesson expectations at the beginning of last year.
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