Is your child feeling bored during online classes? Tips to improve their attentiveness

Dr Tristha Ramamurthy
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Dr Tristha Ramamurthy

Highlights

Looking at the current COVID-19 scenario and the third wave looming large, online classes are expected to continue.

Looking at the current COVID-19 scenario and the third wave looming large, online classes are expected to continue. It's been 18 months since the pandemic struck, bringing about a paradigm shift in the learning space. As the schools remain closed, educational institutions have adapted to this change in conforming to the online mode of education ensuring that students' learning is not hampered. However, the most challenging part of online classes is to make sure that the classes are effective and students are attentive.

To make the online classes more interactive and interesting, new and improvised strategies need to be employed. The idea is to get the attention of the students, keep them motivated, engaged and also participate. Besides teaching skills, teachers have to use their creativity and adopt strategies that will help set students up for success. Being in a home environment and surrounded by potential distractions, keeping students engaged, motivated, and interested in their learning can be one of the biggest challenges. The goal is to make teaching fun, reciprocating, and inspiring using various innovative strategies.

Here are a few suggestions to increase their attentiveness and keep their focus during online teaching.

Use the right platform: Choose the right online platform which focuses more on the content rather than the supporting features. Make sure that the video conferencing tool is simple and easy to use, accessible to everyone to keep the two-way communication going. While teaching, facilitators can use whiteboards, pointers, virtual games, various editing tools, and screen-sharing tools to add variety to their lessons.

Have expert speaker sessions: Attending continuous online classes can be challenging as it involves a lot of screen time and often diverts the focus as students feel tired, lose interest and miss attending the classes. They may be present before the screen but their attention can be somewhere else. To keep their interest going and break the monotonous chain, bringing in expert speakers occasionally can be motivational. Experts from diverse fields interact with students and share their experiences.

Develop multiple learning options: Including activities in lessons makes class sessions engaging and interesting for students. Storytelling, puzzles, quiz, role plays, debates capture students' attention and keep them effectively engaged in learning.

Make your presentation appealing: Educators need to use presentations that are creative, appealing and easy to understand. Simple presentations can be made interesting by adding animated explainer videos, short animations, illustrations, graphs, pictures, clip arts, etc. This will engage the students better and make understanding concepts easier.

Provide interactive and co-curricular activities: Organizing activities such as breakfast clubs, lunch clubs for the entire class during the weekends will help students to unwind, engage socially and make the learning more fun and enjoyable.

Make your students feel valued: Getting to know your students, addressing every child by his/her name, checking in periodically, listening to them - their interests, needs, challenges, goals, encouraging them, giving positive feedback prove helpful and make the students feel valued. Additionally, giving affirmations and awarding their work with stars and badges will keep them motivated in finishing their tasks.

(The author is Founder & MD, Ekya Schools and Provost, CMR University)

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