With the right planning and preparation, a virtual event can be just as awesome as a traditional one for both teachers and students.
Educators are facing new challenges conducting entire classes on digital platforms, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Online courses are not new, especially for instructors in higher education and independent or homeschooling learning environments. But for many K-12 instructors that work in the public school system, working primarily within the virtual world to teach up to 30 students without being physically present can seem overwhelming.
Physical to Virtual
The sudden changes to the classroom environment has been stressful for both teachers and students. Both may be at loss as to how to navigate virtual platforms as a learning space. For teachers, however, their ability to lead a classroom is crucial to quickly get over this learning curb. One thing an instructor could reflect on is what exactly those changes are and how they will adapt to them.
For instance, if instructors are not able to meet with their students face-to-face due to Covid-19 mandates, they must know about the different virtual meeting platforms that can display multiple screens, has clear audio, and carries the tools for interactive collaboration. On top of that, instructors must know how to integrate their lesson plans into those platforms.
Organizing a Virtual Classroom Event
Virtual classroom events can range from a school work assignment to a fun activity. Virtual classroom events are just digital versions of classroom events, with tactics that instructors have implemented for years in order to foster learning, creativity and motivation in their students. Below are five steps you can take that will help you to create a virtual classroom event you and your students will love.
- Create an Agenda
Establish the foundation of the classroom lesson by knowing what you want the students to learn.
- Plan out the Lesson
Lay out the structure of the tools that you will use during the lesson. Do you want to show a video, have a discussion, play an educational game, etc.?
- Integrate Lesson Plans into the Virtual Classroom
Now, as an instructor, you must become familiar with the virtual learning platform that will be utilized in the classroom lesson so that you can integrate the main message and coinciding activities into a digital platform. Also, encourage your students to visit and get acquainted with the virtual classroom that they will be using a few days before the start of the lesson.
- Test it Out
Use this step to straighten out any kinks within the lesson created within the platform or find any technical difficulties. This allows instructors to interact with what they have created from the perspective of the student to see if their lesson is easy to understand, interactive, and (most importantly) encourages learning.
In this step, the students are present (digitally) and ready for the day. Greet your students, take the roll, announce the plans for the day, and get started.
Customize your Virtual Classroom Environment
To get your students into a learning mindset, it can be helpful to create scholastic themed backgrounds and tools that imitate a traditional school environment. Instructors can put their lesson plans on virtual chalkboards, decorate backgrounds to look just like a school hallway or like the inside of an actual classroom. Additionally, you can have a Bitmoji version of yourself (the teacher) interacting with your students.
Although virtual classrooms can never replace the structure, stability, and environment of the traditional school building, using them will become a vital part in the future of education. The virtual world of teaching and learning is likely here to stay for quite a while. Getting adjusted to new ways of doing the things you used to do might take work but it has amazing benefits.