It has been a challenging period of time for all teachers, all around the world. We cannot deny that fact. All of a sudden, and because of something that is totally out of our control, students are learning remotely and both educators and administrators are in the permanent search of new tools and paths to face challenges they haven’t faced before.
A few weeks ago, without even imagining the global situation we are currently facing, we published an article in which we also talked about the challenges teachers face. But in this opportunity, we’d like to offer our readers a way out, a solution to these new challenges that appeared with Covid-19, and a unique opportunity to look at things from a brighter perspective.
How’s the day after going to be like, and when is it going to happen? Which educational paradigms will have the new “normal” way of living and interacting? How to keep your students motivated and interacting with each other? These are only some of the subjects we are going to discuss.
If there is any other challenge you are facing, as a teacher, when teaching online and remotely, let us know in the comments below and we’ll make sure to cover it in an upcoming blog post.
Are you ready to see the main challenges teachers face when teaching online? Are you ready to receive innovative tools and solutions for them? Here we go!
Main challenges of teaching remotely
Are you seeing faces of boredom in your students while teaching online? Maybe some of them left the mic open when commenting about your teaching style, or maybe your students are paying more attention to their game consoles than to the online class you so carefully prepared.
Let’s go over some of the main challenges you might encounter while teaching online. Again, we hope for this blog to be interactive. Therefore, if you have any other challenge of remote learning you’d like us to discuss, don’t be afraid to write about it in the comments section.
Keeping your students engaged and motivated is not an easy task. That has always been the case, and now that they’re learning from home and not even in a physical classroom you have control of the challenge becomes even bigger. But, how can you keep your students happy, engaged, and motivated during a global pandemic that -clearly- affects their mood? Well, by finding the right tools and learning environments for them to genuinely progress.
As we said before, they might be paying more attention to their game consoles than to your class. So what?! Be creative and implement elements of video games in your online class and let them enjoy their learning experience from a fresh perspective.
Offering them an online learning environment that is mission-based will allow them to increase their self-confidence once they see they are -at their own pace- achieving pre-set goals and strengthening important abilities while having fun.
If you want more information on how to motivate your students during a unique global situation like the one we are going through right now, we recommend you to read a blog post we recently published, and to re-watch our STEM webinar “How to Motivate your Students to learn STEM during COVID-19”.
Keeping track of their progress
You know this, educators should always keep track of the progress of their students. We are not talking about standardized tests or hard exams to evaluate where your students stand academic-wise. Instead, we refer to modern ways to see how they are doing, and in which areas they could need improvement or a little help.
But how do you do this while in confinement? We recommend you to do two important things. First of all, create instances of open conversations with each individual participant in your class. Talk to your students about their feelings, their academic progress, and their goals once this global pandemic is over.
We’ve mentioned the Vygotskyan approach to education several times. We deeply believe that creating a genuine relationship with your students that subserves the appearance of real human interaction, is the key to success.
For your students to really progress, you need to know who they are and what they are expecting from you and from your STEM class.
That being said, tools like CoderZ have a useful teacher section in which STEAM teachers can easily track students’ progress and interact with each one of them. Give it a try!
Students interacting with each other
One of the musts of every classroom, all over the globe, is having your students interact with each other and work together. This is the only way in which teamwork ability will be developed and strengthened.
But, how can teachers and educators have their students really interact with each other when each one of them is learning from a different place? Well, the answer is: Being creative!
You can ask your students to form teams and, from their own specific houses, upload STEM challenges to a new TikTok profile they can create for their team, or having them participate in an online coding competition as the cyber robotics coding competition.
The day-after quarantine
Somehow, this is why we teach STEM to our students: To be ready for a future we know very little about, to have the skills to face situations they just don’t know yet and to have comparative advantages when it comes to landing the job of their dreams.
In this case, we should put ourselves -as educators- in the place of our students, and be ready for whatever will happen on ‘the day after’. We have no idea how the world will be when we go back to normal, or how that ‘normal’ is going to be like.
What we do know for sure, is that whatever happens in the near future, we need to be ready for it, and have a useful set of skills to succeed at it. STEM, coding, virtual robotics, and STEM activities can enable us, and our students to start thinking differently… And that, dear readers, is the key.
If we start thinking differently and having an innovative approach to this new world we are about to face… no matter what paradigms we are going to see adjusting, we are going to win this game. No doubt.
Start experiencing how it feels to teach STEM from a different perspective. Experience now how to give each one of your students a few virtual robots of their own. The time is now!