Robert Flint, Optimallearning.com CEO, discusses how social media and online learning is changing the way educators communicate with their students.
How Do You Make Individual Connections To Your Students Via Online Learning
By Robert Flint
Online education has become a popular concept in recent years, offering both advantages and limitations. But many of those attending a traditional college might be surprised by just how easy it is to join in with the rest of the student body for class activities online.
The Today Show does a pretty good job discussing some of the main advantages and disadvantages of learning online. First and foremost is the flexibility. Students can learn at their own pace without worrying about class attendance, and that can be important when balancing a busy job or personal life. Those who opt for online classes also have access to more online opportunities, depending on their individual needs.
How online education can help students with life
It might be tempting to look at online learning and say it is less valuable or less fulfilling than a traditional educational experience, but this is not really the case. For many students, online education can help them improve their lives through learning.
Creating a vibrant social scene while studying
When partaking in online coursework, students should actively participate in group conversations while their classmates are online. Online coursework can offer the opportunity to learn from the example set by those online, and that can make a big difference in future years.
The ability to interact with others to talk about common interests
When students aren’t able to interact face-to-face with others, doing online activities like group discussions can increase social interaction levels and keep students engaged. Whether it’s the state fair at your local high school, or a raffle at work, chances are that those involved in those activities also have an active online presence.
The ability to learn more about the world
Online education allows students to learn about a wide variety of subjects, including science, technology, engineering, and math. These topics are an integral part of everyday life, which means they can help students understand more about current events and how the world works. Many students find they can also prepare for jobs or acquire additional skills through online courses.
So how do you make individual connections with your students via online learning? Try setting up a group chat on one of the tools available in SchoolCal. By connecting with students and identifying areas of common interest and connection, you might just find a way to build strong connections to those students.
Online classes might be much different in the future
Soon, many college campuses will be moving toward a digital-first experience. A recent survey of 1623 college administrators conducted by the American Council on Education found that three out of four institutions plan to implement online classes.
Even if a student already attends a university that has an online program, that college may consider new courses as an important supplement to the traditional curriculum. Because the modern education trend has become very much digital, it is possible that most colleges and universities will follow suit soon.
Online class planning can be very much a personal experience
When working with your students through online classes, it is very important to put a lot of thought into the entire experience. Ask your student about any upcoming options, as they might have already planned courses with online instruction. Also, look into options that will allow for ongoing course learning, such as assignments that can be completed over a longer period of time. Finding the right online classes might just allow for the perfect balance between taking a relatively short online course to graduate in a year, or having them to finish in a couple of semesters.
But most of all, prioritize learning with the major content that is most important to your student, and plan online class activities around that. Having a more personal relationship with your students, and learning more about them through one-on-one time, will help you get the most out of online learning.