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Keeping Students Connected During Isolation

Chalk Talk #64

While schools remain closed for the foreseeable future, our options are either continue educating students through distance learning or not educate students at all and potentially face further academic regression.  

Though distance learning comes with a plethora of disadvantages, it is necessary if we wish to continue educating students and flatten the curve of COVID-19. One of the most challenging, disheartening aspects of distance learning for many students is a lack of quality interaction with their peers.

Social interaction has a huge impact on learning and overall student well-being. Without valuable face-to-face interaction, students may begin to feel lonely, discouraged, disconnected, and unmotivated to complete simple tasks. With the right online tools and communication strategy in place, we can help combat this disadvantage and foster a greater sense of connectivity during this period of isolation.

Here are some things you can do to help foster online communication among your students:

Check-in daily with each student:

Daily check-ins give you the opportunity to help keep students present and show them you are there for them and care about their well-being.

Conduct a daily, online survey: 

Online surveys provide students the opportunity to
share their feelings and opinions. Do they have access to meals? Are they
feeling left out of interactions or confused about current assignments? Ask
specific questions that will let you know how your student is coping as well as
what you can do better to improve their learning. 

Enable threaded discussions: 

Threaded discussions facilitate quality peer-to-peer
interaction. Students can discuss certain assignments such as a chapter in a
book or an art project.  Make sure to set
clear boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable behavior in their
conversations. Monitor discussions and prompt replies from students to help
facilitate their discussions. 

Conduct live, virtual lessons or class meetings: 

This allows students to see you and one another in real time as often as you so choose. There are many communication platforms to choose from for this. If possible, choose one that allows for chatting during a virtual meeting so that students can talk to one another and ask and answer questions. Keep them engaged. Make sure to leave plenty of time for students to ask questions.

Do you have other ways you facilitate quality communication with and between students? Drop a comment below and let us know! 

MasteryPrep is here to bridge the gap in an e-learning environment by providing your students with much needed college readiness preparation.

Check out our distance learning solutions:

Or click here to download our distance learning catalog.

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