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Kid Castle first introduced online teaching in 2019 as part of the new curriculum. In the midst of the current virus situation, adaptability is key as we are living in fast-changing situations. The existing online teaching was therefore expanded upon in order to cater to students who were no longer able to physically attend school.
I had never done online teaching before so I was naturally quite nervous and not sure what to expect. So here goes my rundown of what online teaching involves.
It is inevitable that you will be told by your company to download the relevant app that will be used for online teaching (because yes, Skype is in fact too basic).
Lucky for me, my company had detailed training on how to navigate the apps as well as demos to watch as well as participate in. Whether you have had training or not, it is important for you to spend time learning how to navigate and confidently use the relevant apps in order to succeed with online teaching.
Your home has now become your place of work, weird right? It would be lovely to go and hang out in a pretty coffee shop while working but now that you are online teaching you have to be more aware of your environment. Coffee shops are generally noisy or have background music and you need to make sure that your students can hear you clearly.
They also need to be able to see you clearly so be conscious of the lighting, trying to be strategic when it comes to natural lighting or possibly introducing extra light. Have your laptop at a high level so that the angle isn’t awkward, you can use some books to increase the height of your laptop.
Make sure your backdrop isn’t too busy. For example if you have a lot of artwork or posters up on part of your wall, rather choose a part of your room that is clearer/ more neutral so the students can more easily focus their attention on you.
To make the lessons more interesting for the students (and for you), consider the use of props in your lesson. This does not necessarily mean you need to go crazy spending all of your money. It can be as simple as using things around your room/ apartment. Having the visual can help make the class a lot more interactive!
I have also found that students can lose focus more easily during online classes but the use of props can also be used to gain back their attention and steer them in the direction of the material.
Something as simple as writing on a piece of paper can also be good, whether you are getting the students to guess missing letters to a word or elicit the word based on a picture.
This isn’t actually a new consideration but just something that is important to bear in mind. Whether it be calling them by name and giving words of affirmation or offering some kind of reward, encouragement is essential to get the buy-in of students and make the class a success.
You can make use of the in-app reward system but also feel free to be creative and even use objects that you have to create your own.
It is also great to celebrate the students who did well at the end of the class. Even though they cannot receive something in exchange for their efforts, you can still get the other students to clap for them for example.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but hopefully after reading you have some ideas of how different but also how similar online teaching can be to being in the classroom!