Ways to Enhance Human Interaction with Distance Learning
As my own children return to school from the winter break, I am reflecting again on this unique learning experience we find ourselves in. As my daughter stated this morning, “I am glad we at least have online school, but I so miss seeing my friends and teachers in person, it is just not the same.” This has me reflecting on both the short-, and long-term effects, we may see.
This pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty, and no one is feeling the brunt of it more than our youth. With the everyday, in person interactions suddenly coming to a halt, students, parents and teachers have had to adjust quickly. While it has allowed us to continue education to an extent, distance learning brings about noticeable complications. With isolation comes loneliness and sometimes depression, which can be new waters for youth to navigate. Here are four ways to enhance human interaction when distance learning is the only option.
Get Family Involved
Not all parents are working at home, and there are many who are parenting alone. Maybe an older brother or sister is taking on a caregiving role while mom and dad are busy. Regardless, structuring a time for parent or caregivers to focus on a child can help. Even just ten or twenty minutes a day can do wonders for boosting a child’s mood. Maybe it’s a hands on or physical activity the student needs a partner for or just someone to talk or read with. Encouraging and supporting family involvement can help to boost endorphins and help children feel less alone. Plus, it’s always more fun with someone!
Incorporate Group Activities that Can be Done with Distance
After rigorous periods of learning, students may feel stressed or tired. Get the class involved with an interactive, group activity. Maybe after each class, you do something fun! An in-home scavenger hunt, drawing contests, dance-off, or virtual spirit week are a few ideas! Give the kids something to look forward to at needed breaks or the end of the day. You’ll surely see performance improve! It’s amazing what a little recreational activity can do!
Use a Variety of Communication Tools
It’s not enough to rely solely on technology to communicate with students. Incorporate hands on tools like white boards. It could be a small one or one that you spread across a wall! If your class is full of young students, perhaps incorporating educational toys can boost communication and textile learning. Think outside the box!
Check in Regularly with Students and Parents
At the very least, you should be regularly checking in with your student and thier parents or guardians. Start your day with some type of virtual check-in activity. Find ways to meet with any students who indicated they are not doing well. This can be done by putting kids in individual break out rooms for independent work time and then popping into that childs breakout. Support staff can also help with this. Reach out and do check ins with families. It becomes more difficult to gauge a student’s needs with virtual learning. Stay in tune with the adults in your student’s life. A support system is the most vital thing in the COVID age of learning.
For more tips and support, check out our blog at Sound Supports! It’s our goal to provide the necessary information to aid both students and teachers!
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