Brick and Mortar, Homeschools, Online Middle Schools and Online High Schools All Aim To Engage Students
Captivating students and holding their attention has always been a difficult task for teachers and schools. Unfortunately, engaging our students is a very important part of the learning process. Students learn better and process information better when it is delivered in a way that grabs their attention and engages them to become active participants in their learning. Many schools and teachers still fail to do this.
Keeping our students engaged! That is what every teacher and school should aim for, but it is something many find difficult to do. Unfortunately, many teachers are satisfied having students read from their books or filling out worksheets. It can become the same boring process for students, day after day.
In a brick and mortar classroom, there are so many different ways a teacher can engage a student, from games to group discussions to classroom labs and field trips. Many teachers are even incorporating technology into their classrooms to stay on the cutting edge and relate to students through avenues they are familiar with. Even so, teachers struggle to find new and exciting ways to keep kids interested.
This can be even more challenging when the children are using a homeschool curriculum or attending an online middle school or online high school. “We do a lot of activities, but it is a different way of engaging. When you don’t have live teacher led classes, it is difficult to do a classroom lab or field trip. Many of these things are done virtually”, says Renee Hendo, homeschool and online school advocate. Renee, is just one of the many parents that have made the switch to an online school this year. “It takes a little getting used to, but we do labs, play interactive games, create videos, do virtual field trips. We look forward to logging on each day.” This is a big change for Renee’s son that was just unhappy and struggling at his public school. “His teachers would tell us he just sits and stares out the window or sleeps during class.” Unfortunately, this is all too common in schools. Students may graduate, but don’t retain the important lessons and skills they need in order to be successful.
Every student is different and learns in different ways. “We try to engage students in a variety of different ways. We use interactive games, audio lessons, virtual labs, social media contests, video creation, virtual field trips. We allow students to take breaks throughout the day. Anything we can do to make sure a student is not sitting for extended periods of time just reading or listening to a teacher lecture. If the student is engaged and interested, they will learn better”, says Chuck Delane, curriculum designer for several online and brick and mortar schools. I think we can all agree with Mr. Delane, the more engaged, the more interest a student will have, and the better they will learn. Hopefully, more teachers and schools will work on this in the near future.