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As a new year has just begun and the UK has gone into a third national lockdown, distance learning in Bedfordshire has become more and more vital. In order to keep our children on track and up to date with their learning, many of us are turning to Zoom, Teams and other video calling apps to teach our children.

If you are a teacher in need of inspiration and fresh ideas for your online classroom, then look no further. Here are some tips to improve your distance learning in Bedfordshire and keep your children engaged, even if it is through a laptop.

Keeping your Students Engaged whilst Distance Learning in Bedfordshire

Check in with their mental health.

Take a few minutes at the beginning of the lesson to check in with your students. See how they are coping whilst in lockdown, if there are any areas they feel they are struggling with and if you can help. The class may be too big to go through every student individually, but just offering support will make the students feel like you are still approachable, even if its on the end of a camera.

Simplify your techniques

Video call can prove difficult for some students. They may feel like they can’t ask questions as easily, some may experience technical issues and some may be too worried to hold up the session by saying they do not understand something. Try to simplify your teaching as much as possible, take it slowly and frequently confirm understanding.

Use lighting and sound to your advantage

Good audio and strong lighting can really grab a students attention. Whatever technology tools are available to keep their focus, use them! Maybe a piece of music in between each part of the lesson, or even a different background. These visual aids can also help students remember the information you are teaching them.

Turning lessons into games

Turning exercises into games can help with remembering information and having a bit of fun too. We constantly need to remind children that learning can be fun and this is a great way to do this. This technique can be especially effective for smaller groups.

Changing the way you think about classroom management

Try to remember that anything you say to a pupil is very much infront of the whole class, so keep in mind some issues best be raised privately. You cant manage students in the same way as you would in a physical classroom. What you reward and what you ignore will be different so just bear that in mind.

Plan ahead

Ensure you are always prepped for your lessons. Make sure you know the technology you are using inside and out. Use some of the functions to your advantage. Test out all your technology before and be prepared for a student to not receive the invite or there being a signal issue. By constantly being prepared you can prevent losing vital learning time.

Turning your classroom into a Google classroom has been no easy ride, with so much organising needed and the inevitable tech issues. Just remember when carrying out distance learning in Bedfordshire, you can connect with your pupils individually on instant message for example. A lot of Bedfordshire, you can still connect with your students on an individual basis via instant message. A lot of the time students like to know you are still approachable and they have someone to turn to if they need extra help. Teachers, the UK is behind you. We are so grateful for all you have done and continue to do for nation’s children.