9 Ideas for Making Virtual Learning Joyful and Fun
- 1.1 Get moving!
- 1.2 Incorporate lots of visuals
- 1.3 Make it interactive
- 1.4 Take advantage of technology
- 1.5 Be creative with assignments
- 1.6 Bring in guest speakers
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools and universities around the world to shutter their physical campuses and move classes online. For many students, this has meant a move from in-person lectures and group work to Zoom calls and asynchronous learning. Although this transition has been necessary to protect public health, it’s also meant a drastic change in the way that students learn. In order to make sure that students are still receiving a high-quality education, it’s important to make virtual learning joyful and fun. Here are 9 ideas for how to do just that.
9 Ideas for Making Virtual Learning Joyful and Fun
Sitting in front of a computer all day can be pretty tedious. So, every now and then, take a break to do some stretching, jumping jacks, or any other type of physical activity. Not only will this break up the monotony, but it’ll also help to get your blood flowing and keep you alert.
Incorporate lots of visuals
Instead of (or in addition to) reading long passages from a textbook, try using infographics or videos to deliver information. This can help to break things up and make them more interesting. Plus, we tend to remember information better when it’s presented in a visually appealing way. Make use of engaging free video conferencing platforms like FreeConference, that are allowed on the internet. With such a platform your lesson will be more delightful and enjoyable for your students.
Make it interactive
Whenever possible, try to make your lessons interactive. This could mean incorporating group work, discussions, polls, quizzes, or anything else that gets students involved and engaged with the material. Take time to celebrate successes – big and small! Make sure to praise effort as well as achievement to help build a positive classroom culture where everyone feels supported (even if they’re logging in from home).
Take advantage of technology
There are so many great educational apps and websites out there that can make learning more fun and engaging. Do some research to find what’s out there and incorporate it into your lessons. Take advantage of all the amazing resources the internet has to offer! There are so many great websites, apps, and games that can make learning more fun. Do some research and find some that your students will love.
Be creative with assignments
Instead of just having students complete typical worksheets or write essays, get creative with your assignments! Brainstorm some alternative assessments that still allow students to demonstrate their understanding but that are more engaging and fun than traditional methods. Virtual learning doesn’t have to be all about straight lectures and note-taking. Leave time for students to be creative and express themselves through art, writing, music, etc.
Bring in guest speakers
Hearing from people who are passionate about their jobs is always interesting and can really bring subject matter to life. If you have access to guest speakers, invite them in for a virtual visit! Give each student a “virtual learning buddy.” This can be another student in the class or even a parent or sibling. Having someone to chat with and share experiences with can make virtual learning much more enjoyable. There are so many interesting people and places in the world–take advantage of technology to bring them right into your classroom.
Go on field trips… virtually!
Just because we’re stuck at home doesn’t mean we can’t explore the world (or at least other parts of our city/state/country). There are tons of great virtual field trips available online—all you have to do is a little bit of searching to find them. Teach kids about different cultures by incorporating international cuisine, music & dance from various countries into your curriculumWherever in the world your students may be physically located, there’s a whole world of culture to explore virtually! Incorporate international cuisine, music, dance, art, literature, etc., into your lessons to help students learn about and celebrate diversity.
Introduce some competition… in a healthy way!
A little healthy competition can go a long way in making learning more fun and engaging for students—just be careful not to pit students against each other in an unhealthy way or create an environment where everyone feels like they have to win in order for learning to occur. Help students develop a strong sense of ownership over their learning by allowing them choices and opportunities to give feedback. When students feel like they have a say in what they’re learning, they’re much more likely to be engaged and motivated.
Make time for socializing
Socializing is such an important part of school (even for introverts). Make sure you’re incorporating time into each day for students to catch up with friends, whether that means setting aside 10 minutes at the beginning or end of each class period or built-in time during lunch/recess. Create opportunities for social interaction and connection. In-person learning provides many chances for students to interact with each other, but virtual learning can too! Plan some icebreaker activities or have students work on projects together.
While virtual learning may not be ideal, there are ways to make it more enjoyable for everyone involved. From incorporating web conferencing to creating an online “classroom” complete with student desks and a teacher’s lectern, there are plenty of ways to add a little fun and joy into the mix. Whatever you do, make sure to keep things flexible and keep the lines of communication open so that everyone can make the most of the situation. Happy learning!