Opening Video placed into Edpuzzle

Example Lesson placed into Edpuzzle

Student Engagement

Simply logging into the live class call or watching a video does not mean the student is engaged in learning.  Students must be required to take action to maintain high levels of learning.  Ask yourself as you plan “what is the student required to do as they participate in this lesson?”

Teaching for a camera can be more challenging than teaching in the face-to-face environment.  However, teachers that incorporate live teaching strategies into their videos will create higher-quality content for their students.  For example, include questions, think time, choral response opportunities, hand signals, and student names.

The unfortunate reality is that our students compare the content we create to the professional quality YouTube videos they watch!  We will successfully reach our students when we let our personalities shine through our videos.  Try to exaggerate your facial expressions, hand gestures, posture, voice, and smiles.  The students need more YOU in your content.

Strategies and Tools for Engagement in Synchronous Learning Environments

While traditional presentation tools such as Powerpoint or Keynote work well in face-to-face instruction, live lessons digital learning environments benefit from more interactive tools such as Nearpod and Socrative.  Each of these tools allows the teacher to solicit feedback during live lessons more efficiently than using a chatbox or allowing students to speak one at a time.

Live lessons, even if delivered through Digital Class Calls, should always feel different than a recorded lecture.  If the students don’t have opportunities to interact with you and each other, then the live lesson could probably have been delivered asynchronously.  Your live lessons must be worth attending!

Key Thought:  Student Interaction gives Content Traction.

Strategies and Tools for Engagement in Asynchronous Learning Environments

Placing recorded lessons into platforms like Edpuzzle and Desmos allows you to segment instruction into chunks that are easier to process and require students to complete quick checks for understanding.  A general rule is that video clips should be no longer than two minutes without one of these quick checks, though many students benefit from even smaller segments.

While creating recorded lectures and digital lessons is time-consuming, don’t give into the temptation to just borrow a lesson or video from the internet.  Your students need to see you!  It isn’t enough for them to watch a “good enough” video made in 2014 by a stranger.  Don’t discount your importance to student learning.

Key Thought: Customized Content leads to Invested Students

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