How to Get Students Engaged in Teletherapy
Have you ever been in your virtual classroom when you thought a student’s camera was frozen, but their eyes were just glazed over? The camera was fine but the student was just not engaged. Before you jump to the conclusion technology does not work, let’s explore the potential technology has.
The real question is not if students can or can not be engaged in technology, we know how much time students can spend on video games, social media, and the internet, the question is how and what keeps students engaged?
As a teacher, counselor, and therapist when you first meet a student you set the expectation for how to be engaged: raise your hand, thumbs up if you understand, get the hall pass to go to the restroom, or view the day’s schedule on the calendar. Student engagement is not simply checking if students are listening to you, but how students interact with the environment.
The biggest problem I have seen is when someone tries to directly replicate face-to-face expectations in the virtual environment. Instead of raising their hands, ask the students to turn off their video, and when they know the answer turn video on. Rather than showing the students the answers, let a student share their screen and model how they solved a problem. Students will be more engaged if you strategize how to use the virtual environment. If this seems overwhelming, start by making a list of what students do and pick one. Then take some time to figure out how that process should look in the virtual classroom. Finally, set this expectation for your students and reflect on effectiveness.
About the Author
Joy Marie Curtis joined eLuma because she believes education can empower others. She has a Masters in Education with an emphasis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, an undergraduate in Early Childhood Education with a minor of International Relationships. Her experience includes teaching kindergarten on the Navajo Nation reservation and in rural Utah at a title I school. Currently, she is the CX Operations Coordinator at eLuma.
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