By Zara Raza, marketing lead, SchoolCues.
While some students have been accustomed to homeschooling or online education from a young age, most have found themselves forced into that model since COVID struck. The abrupt switch from learning in a classroom setting to learning at their homes has been challenging.
For starters, not all children have total or even partial access to a laptop or computer, rendering online learning especially difficult or impossible, but even for those who do have their own equipment, the conditions at home might not provide a conducive learning environment due to excessive noise or crowded households.
That said, with regards to children who are in possession of both the equipment they need and the space to use it for optimal learning at home, they still face a series of obstacles, which, while difficult to overcome, do have solutions.
Less Social Activities Means Students Get Bored
Remote learning can be damaging to children’s mental health because of the loneliness and lack of human contact with their peers. It’s understandable: waking up and spending their entire day in front of a computer screen is unnatural and demotivating for kids. On top of that, they’re required to watch long lectures with limited interaction, and that is at the heart of the problem: not being able to connect with their classmates and teachers.
Socializing and engagement in an online classroom are limited, especially if a teacher doesn’t take measures to ensure more interaction. During a lecture in a Zoom room, many teachers will have their students muted, expecting them to be taking copious notes and paying close attention, but students are ultimately left to their own devices without much supervision, especially if their parents aren’t around.
Attention spans have already been shrinking due to the ever-growing use of mobile apps and video games, but with education forced online, what was already an issue has become exacerbated. One of the most important places where children can disconnect from the virtual world and enjoy genuine human interactions was suddenly taken from them.
Of course, not everything is so black and white. Online learning also has plenty of benefits, and can even be more effective if used in tandem with in-person learning that ensures socializing and interaction. More importantly, there are ways to optimize virtual classroom activities to inspire and maintain student engagement, starting with the first day of class.
An introductory activity could entail having students create a short video message introducing themselves and sharing it with the rest of the class, after which, you can quiz the students to see who remembers the most from their classmates’ presentations.