Using the internet is a necessity in today’s modern world. As Americans grow more tech savvy, more people have grown to utilize the internet to find learning opportunities.
How Do You Make Individual Connections To Your Students Via Online Learning
One of the most crucial ways we are able to connect with our students online, after all, is by having them participate in our activities outside of the classroom. Community service is a great example. Our Co-ED office participates in an annual service event each spring, “Giving Tuesday.” We participate in the event as a group because we want our students to know about it, and also because we want them to be committed to participate in the event and to benefit from the service opportunities that this event offers. Many of our classes have a video feed available for participants to watch online, so they can get a feel for the event and get a step-by-step overview of the volunteer opportunities available.
Other than continuing to expand our courses via- platform with an open platform mentality, how do we continually do everything we can to interact and interact with our students? What can we do to better connect with them after school? And, once they leave our doors?
All that said, if we can’t directly connect with our students online, there are other ways to get our word out and promote more online learning. One of the most effective methods we’ve found thus far is social media. Social media is the perfect place to communicate and promote our online programs, so we do utilize it here at Co-ED.
Take a look at our Twitter account for example. We can publish announcements and updates regarding online learning with frequency and efficiency.
Another piece of our social media strategy involves letting our students know that we have work from our teacher. Our tweets occasionally tell students where we have teachers engaged online, and we can link students to assignments they can use to gain study support, reinforce their lesson learning, and provide further social connections.
We’ve also used peer reviews and created a “brain dump” to help our students learn more about topics they’re interested in, allowing them to benefit from it from an early age. The “brain dump” provides an easy way for students to ask questions about topics they’re interested in without them having to go to the trouble of seeking answers from a teacher or asking their parents, who may just not be interested in the subject. And, instead of one teacher teaching them everything they need to know about the subject, they can be more aware and direct in their questions and request teacher involvement. This method is effective. We’ve had a few students request the “brain dump” as a way to gauge if they are indeed interested in pursuing online learning.
The co-ed family literacy program we co-hosted last summer was also a nice example of how we can talk to students through video chats and conferences. In particular, we participated in a conference call to discuss topics regarding summer activities, such as parent-teacher conferences, back-to-school events, and family literacy, leading to more frequent video chats with students and their parents.
Another way we bring virtual learning into the classroom is by letting students discover what’s available to them online by walking into a classroom, clicking on a tool or activity on the computer and just knowing that they can access it now. We’ve even streamed a four-hour-long football game live through Google TV on our campus. This was our first experience with a multichannel virtual event, and we decided that it would be more effective to switch gears and aim for a “day at the ball game” type of event rather than a really large game. The idea was to involve students in authentic learning activities instead of pushing an online experience down their throats. This helped to build their interest and enthusiasm for what is already available online, and also developed a deeper connection between our students and our Co-Ed program. In addition, they had a true “sport-enthusiast” experience, seeing first-hand their favorite sports from their own perspective.