Engagement Strategies for Virtual Classrooms
Teachers tend to fill their classrooms with the tools that help them reach and engage their students. Even an empty classroom will likely at least have a roll-down map and projector screen above the blackboard. That's because effective teaching is about way more than just lecturing. So it's no surprise that teachers and students are struggling with e-learning environments based on Zoom or other meeting software.
A virtual classroom that comes with a good selection of teaching tools will do more than solve that difficulty; e-learning can actually have some big advantages over conventional classes when teachers can easily tap in to the power of the internet and bring all types of multimedia instantly front-and-center. Here are some tips and strategies for teachers to get the most out of their virtual classrooms using Hallway's collaborative tools.
Hold their attention with interactions
Whether you're teaching children or adults, the online environment reduces attention span because of the lack of face-to-face eye contact, distractions of the home environment, and "Zoom fatigue". But when students get their hands on the course materials, the effect is the opposite - interacting with the materials guarantees the focus stays strong. All of the tools in a Hallway classroom are designed for collaboration, so everybody in the classroom has the ability to directly engage with whatever is on the screen. That really opens up the possibilities for individual or group activities, and you can be inventive with your lesson plans.
Put the "multi" back into multimedia
Do you ever wish that you could present more than one thing at a time, or give an individual student more time with a particular piece of content while the class moves on? In a Hallway classroom, you control the layout, you put up or take down whatever content you want to share, and participants can view content in a private window without disturbing the class. The apps are there for most types of content you'll want to share:
- Documents can be annotated with whiteboard tools (everybody has a marker)
- Images can be shared in a slideshow or pasted onto the whiteboard or a document
- Videos can be uploaded or streamed
Use Views to switch over to activities and games
Teaching online, you need to change gears more often to keep students engaged. This can be pretty clumsy in other platforms, but Hallway's switchable views makes it a snap. When you need to take a break from presenting course materials, switch to another view where you have something else prepared, like a quiz or a game. You can have as many views as you want and switch between them instantly, so you won't have to mess around with setup during valuable class time.