COVID crushed engagement–is student-centered learning the solution?

In a new survey of thousands of U.S. educators, teachers validate concerns over student engagement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but believe that technology and student-centered approaches to teaching can help to reinvigorate students in the fall.

Seven in 10 teachers believe that their students are more engaged when lessons involve play, and 68 percent of teachers said that their students are more likely to remember what they learn during learning activities they choose themselves. The survey of 8,000 was conducted by Kahoot!. 

“Even with most schools back to fully in-person learning, educators are reporting that their students continue to struggle. So much was out of students’ control for so long, and it’s no surprise that we’re seeing teachers pick up on the importance of student choice in their own learning,” said Louisa Rosenheck, Director of Pedagogy for the Kahoot! Group. …Read More

What’s so great about online teaching?

Had I been asked what I thought about online teaching two years ago, I would probably have given you quite an earful of the many known shortcomings of virtual teaching modalities, including the challenges to student engagement and community building. Ask me now and my answer could not be more different. Amid the latest push for a return to in-person teaching, many instructors have been adamant about the advantages of digital classrooms and look forward to continuing teaching online in a post-pandemic world. I am one of them.

I teach sociology at CUNY, the largest urban university in the U.S., which serves a very diverse student body of mostly first-generation college students. By the time the COVID-19 outbreak officially struck in mid-March 2020, I, along with millions of instructors around the globe, had to figure out how to move my in-person classes to virtual platforms. Many of us were caught off guard during the initial phase of “emergency remote teaching” and had no choice but to invest, learn, and experiment with technology by trial and error.

With incentives from the administration, we hurried to get online certifications and took summer workshops widely offered by our teaching centers and IT departments. When we succeeded, it was often not by replacing the in-person teaching with virtual scenarios, but by combining the best of both worlds: the interpersonal dynamics of face-to-face interactions with key high-tech tools that enhanced our online classrooms. If it is true that practice makes perfect, the more we conducted our business remotely the more we tightened up our craft. In this piece, I will tell you how this happened.…Read More

How teachers use Wordle–and other games–for next-level engagement

“Did you get the Wordle today?” What initially began as something Josh Wardle created to serve as a personal daily game has become a household name, with users sharing their Wordle progress on social platforms and urging friends to start playing. And now, teachers are using Wordle, along with other games with viral status, to boost student engagement.

The popular game tasks users with guessing–in six guesses–a five-letter word. When users guess a word, a green square indicates they have guessed a correct letter in its correct spot. A yellow square indicates that the letter is in the word, but the user has put it in the wrong spot. And a gray square indicates that the letter is not in the word.

In a January tweet, teacher Samantha Morra shared how teachers can create their own custom Wordle words of any length–a great way to add longer and more challenging vocabulary or other relevant words and concepts to a lesson.…Read More

6 ways to create stellar student engagement

Whether your students take the bus to school or run downstairs to the computer room, keeping them engaged in their classwork throughout the day is the best way for them to master content and progress to the next level of their education.

But not all students do this, or at least, do it well. So how can teachers and principals up their game to keep students engaged and make sure each child stays focused and ready to learn?

As teacher for more than 20 years, I have 6 tips to help keep students engaged throughout the day, whether they are in a traditional or a virtual classroom.  …Read More

5 instructional practices that drive student engagement

Student engagement has long been an indicator of growth and progress, and in the wake of the pandemic, it will prove essential for academic and social-emotional recovery.

Recent insights pulled from a survey of more than 2,000 identifies instructional practices that enable student engagement, no matter the learning environment.

Using qualitative and quantitative survey data, the following five instructional practices were ranked highest for driving engagement.…Read More

3 strategies for virtual student-centered learning

When secondary educators plunged into emergency online teaching in March 2020, we faced a slew of challenges. Among those challenges was the lack of student engagement after the novelty of logging in from home in pajamas wore off.

What started as a two week attempt at keeping things as normal as possible “just until after Spring Break,” became more than a year of uncertainty combined with lack of knowledge and resources to maintain high levels of engagement and content delivery. This is not for lack of trying, most definitely on the part of educators everywhere, and we’ve now reached a point where teaching blog posts like “Is Anyone In Teaching Actually Happy?” fill my teacher-gram.

The exhaustion, unhappiness, and stress-related languish and depression are widely reported and seen, but teachers are not giving up. Those who remain in the uncertain state of “What will this year hold?” as the pandemic continues might benefit from some of the ideas offered here, even if it is just to know that they are not alone in still attempting to engage with students despite the challenges of the educational landscape.…Read More

New Epson BrightLink GoBoard Brings Advanced Connection and Collaboration to Classrooms as Breakthrough Software Solution

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – June 24, 2021 – Epson, the number-one selling projector brand worldwide,1 today announced a breakthrough software solution for enhanced lesson plans and student engagement – the BrightLink® GoBoard Wireless Collaboration and Integrated Whiteboard Solution. As a dynamic whiteboard solution, BrightLink GoBoard is equipped with a suite of collaborative features and included AirServer technology, allowing both students and teachers to share, annotate and stream mirrored content in real time. At the ISTELive 21 virtual event next week, Epson’s product manager Tom Piche will discuss the BrightLink GoBoard solution in more detail during Epson’s Solutions Snapshot sessions.

“BrightLink GoBoard is a powerful solution that transforms classroom whiteboards into creative canvases for students and teachers,” said Piche. “Epson’s BrightLink solutions aim to empower teachers with engaging and interactive tools, and BrightLink GoBoard adds another layer of collaboration to inspire, captivate and encourage student participation from anywhere in the room.”

BrightLink GoBoard is a full featured collaborative software solution that offers seamless integration with current BrightLink interactive display setups. The downloadable solution is simple and intuitive, allowing students and teachers to share content from Chromebook, Windows®, iOS®, and Android devices. Created with convenience and student participation in mind, BrightLink GoBoard also works alongside popular video communication tools, such as Google Meet, Zoom and Microsoft Teams, so students at home can easily follow along.2…Read More

5 ways to boost student engagement with STEM learning strategies

As educators, we are always trying to find ways for all students to achieve success. Research has shown us that students who are engaged in learning are more likely to be successful.  So how do we know when students are truly engaged in learning? They are active participants–they listen and ask questions, they are invested in and internalize what they are learning, they make real-life connections, and they take pride in the work they produce.

Two years ago, my school, Dr. Rodriguez Elementary, kicked off a new effort to create authentic learning experiences for all students by infusing STEM learning strategies into our curriculum. We believed this effort would increase student engagement and motivation. While we have more work to accomplish in this effort, to date we have been pleased with the results.

Here are five strategies using technology the teachers in my school have implemented to create a learning environment that actively engages students and promotes more fun in learning.…Read More

New Data Analysis from CatchOn Finds Digital Engagement in K-12 Districts Increased Despite Pandemic Challenges

“Student Level Data Engagement Analysis” aggregates device and app usage data to assess student engagement

New analysis from CatchOn, an expansive data analytics and application monitoring tool for K-12 schools, finds that while districts experienced a significant decline in student engagement at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many quickly rebounded, reaching higher levels of digital engagement than before the pandemic.

“What this data shows us is that despite the many obstacles and challenges thrown at our school districts this past year, educators and staff worked together to leverage the power of technology and keep students engaged and learning,” said Monica Cougan, CatchOn’s Manager of Strategic Relationships and Initiatives. “At a time when so much is being reported on the detrimental impact this pandemic has had on learning, and while it certainly has, this data paints a picture of hope and demonstrates the tenacity, commitment, and innovation of our educators, parents, and students in their pursuit of excellence.”…Read More