Educators will go to the ends of the earth if it means they can get their students to pay attention. And in the era of digital learning technologies in education, there is a lot left to the imagination.
Virtual classrooms have their own set of challenges. With the ever-present distraction of home life, keeping your students engaged might feel a little harder than it used to be.
If you’re curious about digital education tools for teachers and students, you’ve come to the right place. Interactive online learning can look different for everybody. The good news is, within a student’s agency lies confidence and empowerment. And the necessity to be an active participant in their education.
Let’s break down what digital tools and education can do to assist teachers in supporting their students.
COVID-19 ran through online education like a category 5 hurricane. Disproportionately affecting students of color and low-income families, the switch to an online classroom presented unforeseen challenges for students and their families.
School districts begin to report a skyrocketing rate of absentees and overall disengagement. Many students reported that not having a teacher present to help with accountability, time management, and general support made their studies difficult.
A set of the key factors contributed to students struggling with remote education.
One is what they least enjoyed in an online classroom setting. Students reported that they felt disengaged because their instructors weren’t passionate. That they lectured too much and taught at them instead of to them.
Of course, teachers are a group of hard-working people who have historically been spread thin. Throw a pandemic into their laps with little to no guidance about how to move forward, and it makes sense that instructors struggled to maintain online engagement.
What we do know is engagement is inspired through rapport and interaction. For students to stay engaged in a remote setting, they need to feel called to participate. In this hybrid learning environment, fine-tuning online education tools and promoting digital learning technologies in education is a must.
Interactive Online Learning
The best way to determine your most successful interactive learning tools is to first look at your students. With access to limitless information, you are helping foster the next generation of forward thinkers and emotionally intelligent people.
Honoring student agency includes student choice. The process of honoring involves acknowledging student voices and experiences, all while being an authentic member of the audience. There are endless ways that we can work on hearing our students identify their needs.
When we overlook this crucial piece of independent learning, we are neglectful, and we lose the rare chances to give students agency within their curriculum. Cultivating the social-emotional learning connection gives all students the opportunity to practice self-awareness and self-management. Awareness of their emotional inventory can help students with coping and regulation skills. This connection builds on social awareness and healthy relationship skills.
We redirect our focus to the way students perceive their social-emotional learning connection. It becomes obvious how tremendous of a role it plays in responsible decision-making—both decisions within the school system and when they become prolific members of society book inside. As teachers and leaders at your school, the best way you can encourage student agency and learning is by leading by example.
When students have time to incorporate their interests into academic environments, they have the chance to collaborate on both passion and necessity.
Digital Education Tools for Teachers and Students
Part of true online engagement looks like fostering a vulnerable place. This place is for students to pose questions and find confidence and ask those questions. Connecting those questions to actionable items and reflection is where the light pours in.
Practice assigning value to open-ended questions. That encourages students to seek out those answers in the world around them. Connect students to experts or encourage them to find people who can answer their questions. This enhances that rapport and shows students how to utilize their voice and confidence.
This is the perfect segue into exploring your student’s creative and humanitarian passions. Maybe one of your students is curious about social work, and they’d like to go volunteer at the local shelter to interview some case managers. SSA provides the chance to bridge the ever-expanding chasm between teachers and their students. Students need to know that they have eyes and ears paying attention to them. They need that support to remind them of the unique pieces of their individuality and the encouragement to sit down at the (online) table to explore it.
This opportunity to create a community relationship is an immeasurable reminder that when students come out from behind the computers, there is still a tangible world to explore all around them. And that is the goal.
With an SSA agent, students have a chance to process and reflect on what they learned. Even the small window of debriefing the day can change the game for many students who struggle with cliffhangers. This provides a smooth transition from the school day into homework and study time.
And even at the dinner table.
It would be the understatement of the year to say that instructors and school staff are frustrated with the technologies required to pull off a remote education. Learning to embrace technology is a commitment to meeting students exactly where they are. When we zoom out to the big picture, that’s what this is about. Tenured teachers may still be using materials from the golden ages. Accepting that social channels and mobile engagement are a part of everyday academic life is a major key. It means that they have an opportunity to incorporate social channels into their lesson plans.
Creating a space for students to connect with like-minded peers can facilitate support. It can develop partnerships and foster the exploration that is so important during this period of growth.
The milieu must acknowledge that compromise can only help their transition to digital education. To optimize the way that students receive lesson plans, the overlap is necessary. Combining the information and knowledge they need with proper tools and resources that pique their interest is the best-case scenario.
If it’s technology-based, you’re already getting their attention. This can be through video tutorials with AI assistants or turning lesson plans into a mobile game. This challenges students’ critical thinking skills.
SSA provides the opening to bridge the ever-expanding gap between teachers and their students. Students need to feel like they have eyes and ears on them. To remember the unique pieces of their individuality, and encouragement to sit down at the (online) table to explore that.
What does a tangible outcome look like in this world? Especially when online education is fulfilling, engaging, and dedicated to student success. It looks like parents watching their children rise to the occasion. Processing the feelings of stifle and stagnation.
It looks like instructor successes, no matter how small, celebrated with all academic support systems. With a little effort and some new infrastructure, all parties benefit. And the extra support of SSA agents means that no one misses a beat.
Homework feels more accessible; test scores look more reasonable. Your student’s expressions of their education can manifest by way of community work and service or by becoming a leader and paving the way. No matter the outcome, the drive comes from the positive impact of small, short-term achievements.
The entire purpose of digital education tools is to set students up for long-term, real-world application. The level of independence and discipline that accompanies online learning is up there. And, it is new and scary for students and teachers alike.
Having that common ground means that teachers can understand how tough it might be to be on the other side of the screen. The student support system could always use an extra set of hands, eyes, ears, and brains. An SSA agent is a gold mine of support, stability and
The Big Feeling
Digital education tools for teachers and students are more within reach than the world of academia understands.
Sometimes a fresh set of eyes, a little bit of support, and a positive reframe offer a fresh take on an old sore spot. We know that the socio-emotional connection that students need to explore comes in part from their teachers.
The other piece comes from the right team to follow up and keep that fire burning after the last bell rings. If you’re curious about interactive learning, reach out to us through our website to connect.