Fact: You don’t want to get infected, nor to infect your students.
There is a simple solution to stop the spread of this virus, and it is staying at home. As some educators around the world are saying, they did not sign up to be online teachers, just as their students (and their families) didn’t agree -when coronavirus wasn’t around- to receive all of their class curricula online.
But, what can we do? Coronavirus is here, and teachers must find new ways to motivate their students to learn remotely. How can we engage our students to learn STEM during COVID-19? What are the main challenges teachers face when teaching online?
In this short, but useful article we are going to try to solve these and other problems all educators, teachers, STEM coordinators, administrators, principals, and especially students are now facing, with no apparent escapatory. Good news is: There is a way out, and actually, it is way better, engaging, and innovative than what you think.
So, how to motivate students to learn STEM during a global pandemic? Pay attention to the following tips.
Motivating my students to learn STEAM remotely (H2)
First of all, and before we jump into the actual tips and tools to motivate your students to learn STEM online, we had a very interesting webinar about this subject not so long ago. Watch the STEM webinar here and learn everything about how teachers in the United States are motivating their students to learn remotely.
Now we can go ahead and show you a few ways in which you can motivate your students to actively participate in your online class, and to successfully learn from home.
Interactive and fun tools (H3)
There are several tools you can use in your classroom in order to motivate your students to learn STEM remotely, and not all of these tools are necessarily STEM-related. Try adding some STEAM content, or maybe even some important part of your curriculum to engaging, fun tools that belong to other fields.
We’re sure you’ve heard of Kahoot before, this online tool can be super useful when incorporating some elements of gamified learning into your classroom, and can turn a simple virtual class via Zoom into an extremely fun academic activity in which your pupils will learn a whole lot.
Tools like Kahoot, and there are many out there, strengthens your students’ creativity, and amplifies their critical thinking. By including tools like this one, and adapting them into something that can be actually useful for them, your students will comprehend that there are -indeed- infinite ways to solve one same problem, and endless paths to walk through in order to do something innovative.
Another tool you can use in your online classroom is CoderZ. With CoderZ each one of your students will own a few virtual robots, and will learn how to program them with a mission-based, and super engaging online learning environment.
This online learning environment is accessible by only having a simple computer connected to the internet, and it can offer your students numerous possibilities to learn STEM in a fun, exciting way.
Turning parents into partners (H3)
Another way to motivate your students to learn STEM online, is creating a genuine interest in the field. Maybe they can do one of these breathtaking robotics projects by themselves, or even with their parents.
Yes, that is the key. Turn parents into partners. We suggest you have weekly meetings with your class’ parents to discuss how they are doing with the current situation, and how they think their kids could learn better.
By talking to parents on an ongoing basis, you’ll create a real relationship with them, and they will also encourage their children to learn STEM more actively while learning from home. Try to make parents understand the challenges you face as a teacher, and do your best to comprehend the challenges they are facing too. You guys are a team!
A tool that can help you talk to parents in closed, private meetings is Whereby. Check it out and give it a try!
Gamified learning to motivate your students (H3)
As we mentioned in previous articles of this blog, incorporating elements of gamified learning that can be done remotely, can truly motivate your students to learn STEM in the distance. Have you considered maybe using the social networks they love so much in your favor?
As we suggested in the article about challenges teachers face when teaching remotely, you could maybe even create a TikTok challenge for your students in which they’ll have to do something related to your STEM curriculum. Sounds fun, right?
We have always been strong supporters of the Vygotskyan approach to education, that defines education as a constant process of social interaction. This is a bold statement and reason for you to make your class interactive. Not because you are teaching via Zoom it means that your class has to be a monologue… flip your classroom and let your students participate!
Turn your class into a game, use gamified learning tools and let your students own their learning processes. Tools like CoderZ, for example, can offer your students the chance to own a few virtual robots and try their amazing STEM skills even on the moon! Bring some fun into your remote classroom.
A virtual robot might help you with their classroom engagement (H2)
It is time to bring virtual, fun, and interactive robots into your classroom. Your students can access CoderZ’s online learning environment with just a computer that has internet connection, allowing them to continue their learning process even during their free time.
By implementing virtual robots and cyber robotics coding competitions, your pupils will have a different and more exciting approach to the STEAM fields, understanding that they can strengthen a number of skills while having fun.
Register for a 14-day free trial and begin to discover how it feels to teach in a fun way that will, no doubt, motivate your students to learn STEM… remotely, or not
Arie Elbelman is the founder and CEO of LEÓN Marketing. Arie is a helping SMB’s worldwide grow their business and connect with their communities. He deeply believes in the power of education to change the world and has been working with several EdTech companies and projects for years now. His passions are his family, social marketing, non-formal education, human-centered communication, and transformational processes.