Keep K-12 Students Focused and Motivated

Keep K-12 Students Focused and Motivated

How do you engage students when you are not present where and when they learn? Consider these tips, which can help your students feel focused and motivated during remote learning.

This post complements material presented at a LACUECares educator development event held on November 3, 2020. You can find recordings of all event sessions here.

Our goal is to provide you with information that’s useful, engaging, and easy to use. We welcome your comments or examples, to share your knowledge and experience, contact us today.

Private Zoom Meetings

Do you want to create content that can be used outside the classroom? How about using Zoom software to create private meetings? The process is simple. First, set the software to Record and create the content. Next, present the content by using screensharing and whiteboard tools available in Zoom. Finally, use that recording as a lecture video for students.

Create video content in small bites

Creating videos that are as long as a classroom lecture is an instant sedative for students of all ages. Instead, break up video content into several, shorter pieces. Researchers recommend limiting the length of educational videos to six-to-nine-minute segments. This length is a better fit for students’ shorter attention spans. (And if the video requires rework or corrections, you waste less time and effort, too!)

Asynchronous discussion boards

Discussions aren’t limited to live on-campus conversations. Now, it’s possible to set up asynchronous discussions in Google Classrooms. You can set up discussion boards for the whole class, smaller groups, or one-to-one exchanges with individual students.

In-class discussions move quickly, designed to fill a single class period or less. Asynchronous discussions move at a more deliberate pace—think several days to a week. Without the need for a quick response, students can think about basic concepts, approaches to problem solving, and information that provides solid evidence.

One caveat, however. Before any discussions begin, make sure to provide clearly stated ground rules about acceptable post content and how you will assess student work.

Although engaging students to learn is important, other considerations can block a student’s academic success. This is where a sense of student safety and learning continuity are so important. Come back next time for a review of methods designed to bolster student wellbeing.

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