Online Learning & Maintaining Student Motivation

Lately, it doesn’t seem to matter which grade a student is in. Everyone is taking virtual classes this year. Some of these classes are going with online learning for the first time. This makes it difficult for everyone involved. So, how do you (as a parent, student or teacher) adapt to these changes? Here are some quick tips and suggestions to keep you focused and stay motivated throughout this school year.

Online Learning & Maintaining Student Motivation

Students & Online Learning

How can you, as a student, find that focus that will help you stay motivated? Here are several steps to take to make sure you get your work completed and turned in on time.

1. Set Goals

Most people hear this advice throughout their entire lives. So, let’s apply it to this school year as well. Take a look at all the classes and subjects you are currently taking. Now, what needs to happen for you to be able to get the grade you want for these classes? Start by writing down what your end goal is. Then, separate these broad goals into smaller ones.

Dedicate a specific notebook to your goal making. After all, the key to achieving your goals is writing them all down. Once you have them in writing, you can refer to your goals frequently so you know you are taking every step to completing them. Accomplishing your goals requires constant follow-up. And when you write everything down, you can always go back to see where you are in achieving your goals.

2. Keep to a Routine

Many students have a small opportunity to attend classes at least once a week. Going to these physical classes offers a structure that normally doesn’t exist for online classes. Many students find that having that structure, even for one day, is soothing and helps them better focus. It’s the routine of a daily schedule that keeps them motivated.

Develop a plan to stay on task so you can complete your coursework while still allowing time to enjoy the things you like to do. Schedule set times to log in to your course and to study, create reminders of due dates on your calendar or phone, and build in ample breaks to give your mind some time to take in what you’re learning. Having a plan will increase your likelihood of success and will help you reach your goals.

So, find that routine for the other days when you are doing online learning. Sometimes it’s as easy as duplicating that in-person routine while you are at home. For example, study math, English or science at the same time every day. Even if you don’t have homework or an online meeting, pull out your textbook and notes and keep caught up on the class studies.

3. Take Breaks

Just like breaks between classes when you’re on campus, it’s smart to take small breaks to help yourself stay motivated. These breaks can be something as simple as standing up and stretching. Or, make them a bit more interactive with quick activities like three-minute exercise routines.

No matter what break activities you choose, make them a part of your daily routine. In elementary, we all had recess breaks, and it’s important to give our brains a little bit of a distraction instead of always staring at a computer or textbook. Your mind will thank you for taking these breaks.

4. Reward Yourself

From celebrating the little achievements to making a big deal for passing a class, every student should reward themselves for a job well done. Figure out a rewards system for meeting goals; match the reward to the success. Doing something nice for yourself will help with your online learning motivation. So treat yourself for a job well done.

Parents & Online Learning

things to do while committing to online learning

While it isn’t your education, you are there to help your children accomplish their educational goals. Make sure you take some time to follow these simple steps to ensure that online learning functions well.

1. Stay Healthy

Part of staying healthy focuses on both the parent and the student finding balance with school work. As a parent, you need to work with your student’s online learning to meet both mental and physical needs.

Taking care of the student’s mental and physical health can help their academic performance. As you build out your schedule, try to work in regular exercise, healthy meals and plenty of rest and relaxation. If you’re not sure where to begin, contact your school’s respective recreation or counseling centers.

2. Create an Inspiring Study Space

Parents, make sure that your student has a dedicated space in which to study. Make this space accessible and free of distractions so that your child has a fighting chance of focusing and staying motivated in their school work.

Something easy to do is to add motivational signs or name plates for the students to see. Also, keep educational tools on hand. Set up a work station that is inviting for your child. Each child may need something different, so make sure you focus on individuality and personalities.

3. Take an Active Roll in Education

Online learning is hard on everyone. Some students can thrive in an online environment, but more often than not, they will need some assistance to stay on track. Listen to your kids for what they need to accomplish their educational goals. And, find ways to actively support those needs.

Once you know what each child needs, help them succeed by taking actions that push them in the right direction. Encourage them and show them that they are not alone in accomplishing their goals. If you let your kids know you have their back, they are guaranteed success in their schooling.

Teachers & Online Learning

teaching students with online learning

As an educator, you understand the importance of keeping students engaged and motivated. Online learning complicates these a bit, so here are a few things you can do to help your students stay on task.

1. Create a Schedule

Help your class stay on task by creating a daily schedule for them. Some students may need a little more guidance than others, and without your in-class help, they may not be able to focus like they need to. With a set daily schedule from their teacher, these students should thrive a little better in an online learning environment.

Schedules will also help you when working with assignments and grading. Ensure you are doing things in a timely manner and making yourself available to help your students when they need it. Writing out daily, weekly and monthly schedules will also help you as the teacher stay motivated so that you can do your job well.

2. Eliminate Distractions

As many of your classes will now communicate via video conferences, make sure your environment does not distract from your lesson plans. While you don’t have to remove everything from your background, make sure things behind you are not taking away from what you are teaching. And add items as needed. Use custom ribbon rolls to help keep the background engaging without distracting.

Maybe you find yourself constantly reminding students to mute their microphones or raise their hands before blurting out answers. Custom signs are the perfect tool to have that as a constant reminder behind you. Pick a color that works with your surroundings and add a message that will help with your teaching style.

3. Stay Connected with Students

One challenge of online learning is that students often feel quite isolated. Consider how you can make direct contact, through emails, instant message and video, to as many learners as possible, helping them see how you are invested in their learning. In addition, encourage ways for learners to see each other as resources through methods like peer feedback and peer review, as well as potentially helping students find peers to study with.

Your students need to know that you are there for them. Make yourself as accessible as you can during days that students may be on campus, and especially on days they are not. Everyone’s educational experience will be better knowing that the teachers will always remain accessible.

Making the Transition to Online

While online learning may be difficult at first, use these ideas to make your transition easier. If you still find that you need help, reach out to other teachers and parents. Your local school district is also a great resource. And keep on learning!

Teaching Tools for Success in the Classroom

Whether it’s using tablets in the classroom or providing visual aids for students to learn, every educator needs reliable teaching tools.

Learning is more effective and stimulating when you are using teaching tools that are already in front of you. It is up to teachers and other school staff to make sure that every student has the tools they need to learn. When students know what tools they have available and how each one works, they are more apt to pay attention, and in the long run, learn what they need to succeed.

Every lesson taught in a classroom will affect each student’s life. Whether it’s the immediate result of homework, or a life lesson learned while studying. And, when equipping teachers with the right teaching tools, these magical learning moments come effortlessly.

Teaching Tools

When you bring real things and authentic daily-life situations into the classroom, listening becomes discovering, interest becomes wonder, and passive learning becomes active exploration. Lessons come to life with touch, motion and sound. Teacher resources, insights from fellow educators and personalized support help you teach every subject, from reading to coding, in ways that kids really get.

teaching tools can include things like technology and creative aids

Filling Your Teacher Toolbox

Veteran teachers typically already have their toolbox set up and rather full. They can be a great resource to new teachers and those that are still developing their teaching tools. And, isn’t that the main idea? To use every resource you can find? So, reach out to your colleagues for a bit of guidance in setting up your toolbox. This way, you are guaranteed to have aids and materials that are proven to work.

Other teaching tools you can add to your toolbox include textbooks, bulletin boards and even art supplies. Get the teaching tools that will stimulate your students. Whether that is a textbook or a box of ribbons, it doesn’t matter. Just know your tools and how to use them. Here’s a great example.

Roll with the flow in your classroom with custom ribbon rolls.

custom ribbon rolls are great for adding into your teaching tools

From creative bookmarks to classroom decorations, ribbon rolls are sure to prove useful. And, don’t forget to customize these ribbons. Add a room motto or a teacher’s name to each roll, then use them as a border for bulletin boards. Or, make unique gifts for each student to use throughout the school year. Custom ribbons are also perfect as thank you gifts for support staff at your school.

Using Old School Teaching Tools

Pen and paper are the simplest of tools you can have as a teacher. From making your students take notes to grading papers, that pen is mightier than any sword. Your pen can create so many worlds and provide a vast amount of knowledge. So, make sure that your students know how to use their pens to benefit their learning.

From writing things on a chalkboard (or whiteboard) to using index cards for studying, these tools are fit for every teacher’s toolbox. No matter the size of the paper or writing medium, use its space. And use it well. Bring your lessons to life with posters. Create a stimulating learning environment with colorful drawings and words that explain why you are using this teaching tool.

Other old school techniques include one-on-one time with each student. During an average day, teachers often don’t have time to speak individually with every student. But, it is crucial to make sure that each pupil knows that they are valued. Students thrive when their teacher knows what they are good at and how they may struggle. And, while you may not have time every day to reach out to every student, make it a point to reach out to a few of them each day.

Classroom Etiquette

Get to know your students before that first day back. If you need to, find their class picture from last year so you can know what they look like. Then, memorize their name and face. Every student is sure to feel shocked and pleased that you know who they are. They are also more likely to behave well when they know you are that observant.

Greet every student, every day. While this may at first seem daunting, your students are sure to see your effort to make them feel welcome. And with this comes the respect for your ability to see them as individuals. Some teachers go as far as creating secret handshakes with every student. While you don’t need to take that much time, make sure every student knows you respect them as a person.

Teaching Tools Should Include Technology

While most of the time technology use in the classroom is looked down on, from a teacher’s perspective, it can be useful. Take a classroom set of tablets, for example. By using these computers, you are encouraging the growth of young minds while they explore educational games or other monitored activities. Not only are the students learning how to use technology, but they are also learning concepts that need to be covered in school.

Often schools have computer time or classes they offer to the students. These classes teach students how to work with a world that is full of technology. So, while cell phones might be an unwanted distraction, having structured time on monitored technology can be helpful.

From learning about 3D printers and their uses to using immersive environments that only computers can supply, technology does have its place in the classroom. And don’t forget about online teaching tools. Use Google to teach students how to perform research for projects and online exploration. The internet is continuously helping teachers, so why not help students as well.

25 Teaching Tools For The Digital Classroom

The use of smart phones, tablets, and other tech items in the classroom do not necessarily have to have a negative impact on student achievement. On the contrary, the increasing accessibility and growth of technology presents teachers with the unique opportunity to take advantage of those once distracting gadgets, and use them to facilitate academic achievement in new and innovative ways. In this capacity, teachers do not need to be constantly fighting for student attention, but can freely accept it, by introducing a new educational environment that will automatically encourage student participation.

Using Identification as Teaching Tools

From name tags to ribbons, custom identification is here to help every teacher create and sustain their toolbox. These items not only help with providing direction in the classroom or school, but they can also help with learning. Students can use name tags for a hands on approach to learning about colors, dimensions and so much more. Ribbons are perfect for creative projects. Use ribbons to create a bright and friendly environment for your classroom.

These are only a couple of items and ideas on how to use them. But, don’t forget that there are so many more options: signs, lanyards, plaques and badge holders. And each item has boundless uses. A teaching aid is a tool used by a teacher so that students can learn inside a classroom. So no matter what that tool is (example: ribbons), every teacher needs to know how to use it in multiple ways.

Upgrade your Classroom with Custom Signs

custom signs are great to add to your teaching tools

From bulletin boards to homework stations, signs are a convenient way to get decorating started. Use them to help students know where to hang their coats and backpacks. Place a sign on a desk for an easy sign-in for volunteers in your classroom. They are also the perfect tool to help create order in the chaos of a supply closet.

Update your classroom’s look with new decorations using signs. Customize them with nearly any message you can think up. Add your favorite quote with a suitable graphic to hang on your wall. Or, create a custom sign to hang on the outside of your room door so others can enjoy it as well.

Teacher Specific Resources

Don’t underestimate the importance of attending professional development classes. They are there to help teachers in their progression toward a practical toolbox. These courses teach where to find teaching tools and how best to use them. Just remember that not all tools will work for every classroom. So, pick the tools that will work best for you and figure out the best uses for your students.

For your students to continue learning, as a teacher, you must also continue learning. When talent is shared or practiced, it becomes stale and useless. Expand your brain so that your students can expand theirs. Personalized learning is an essential part of engaging students. So, use your tools and make sure that your students feel valued in your classroom.

There is no doubt that these teaching tools play a prominent role in each student’s learning process. With more tools in your toolbox, the better your students will learn. So, what are the easiest ways to connect with students? Find the tools that work best for you and best for your students. These tools may work one way for one student and a different way for another. The important thing is to remember that each student needs a personalized education that only you can provide.

Other Online Resources

25 Great Online Education Tools Modern Teachers Love Using

Teacher toolboxes in the modern teaching environment are many and diverse. Most include trusted standbys like Evernote, Google tools, Edmodo, Wikispaces, and others. Of course, everybody has their own favorite sites and tools, but the fact remains teacher toolboxes need terrific education tools. If you’re looking for something different, though, you might be interested in them.

Instructional Tools

A variety of tools can be used in the classroom to support student learning, ranging from traditional to high-tech options. Examples include the whiteboard, index cards, posters, audience response systems (e.g. clicker technology), Google collaboration tools, 3D printing, and wikis. Depending on course learning goals and outcomes, instructors may choose to use one or several of these tools to augment the teaching and learning environment in their classroom.

6 Cool Educational Technology Tools for Teachers

Educational technology tools hold great potential to improve the classroom environment. But simply adding them to your classroom isn’t enough — consider the context, your students’ needs, and your reasons for wanting to use a particular technology.

Teaching Aids and Instructional Materials

Psychologists, designers, educationalists, and many professors around the world work on improving the quality of education because a lot depends on the education of a whole generation. The resources a teacher uses while teaching play a role in how students learn. Motivation, stimulation, retention, interest, actionable learning, etc. can vary based on how the act of teaching occurs.