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  • Writer's pictureAin Arend

[EN] Is COVID the Catalyst to a New Way of Teaching?

Covid-19 changed the path of 2020 for almost everyone and it looks like it will be here to stay for now. As we accept and adjust to the situation, we begin to cultivate a new "normal", establishing how we now socialize, keep up with family and of course how we work. In a world where "uncertainty" has become the latest buzzword, many teachers are adapting to present virtual lessons indefinitely, as it is unclear when face-to-face education will be back up and running.

Teachers, although you’ll likely be missing the classroom and having contact with your students, there are actually some advantages when it comes to remote teaching. If there was ever a time to focus on the positive, it is now. In addition to saving teachers time and energy from the daily commute, the global pandemic is prompting educators to use technology more creatively. Presenting information through songs, images, videos and interactive teaching platforms is taking center stage.

The good news is that this style of teaching is ideal for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. In fact, working on a variety of short tasks with stimulating graphics helps keep students, especially young children, interested. As teachers will know, keeping students interested can often be half the challenge, so it's definitely an advantage. Also, since students will not physically have partners in the same room to distract them (as they often do) there are more opportunities to focus on the activity at hand.

Teaching through interactive learning platforms also allows educators to share the microphone. Considering it’s easy to drift off into daydreams when the lesson’s information is expressed as a monologue. By reducing teacher talking time and increasing students engagement, they learn to think more critically and independently, without worrying about the judgment from the person next to them. In the absence of interactive whiteboards while we stay at home, tools like desktop sharing are an excellent substitute with a similar dynamic that motivates and engages students.

However, virtual learning is not only beneficial for children, it also helps teachers by dramatically reducing preparation time. Instead of spending hours crafting creative materials, teachers simply select a topic and the content is generated by the chosen platform or software. This allows educators to spend more time considering students' needs and preparing necessary activities or discussion topics to support and challenge students.

Platforms like 99math are a great example of embracing interactive learning. Teachers can organize virtual math games and students join together from home using a smartphone or tablet to play against their classmates. The games are fun and the competitive aspect results in deep focus and motivation. Teachers can select topics, all of which tie into the curriculum, and even receive reports on each (individual) student to review their strengths and areas of development.

Students love challenging their peers and getting instant feedback, plus it's great for all levels of learners! Interactive online learning can help bring theory to life and make every teacher's dream come true: happy and engaged students, progressing and growing in confidence. As the old saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining!

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