If you frowned upon reading the title of this piece, then rightly so. The best online classroom methodology depends on several factors, and has to meet the needs of you and your unique students. In all cases, the support of BigBlueButton, the teacher-centric online classroom software, is invaluable. Let’s dive into some of the online classroom methodologies that are available for each age group.
Our youngest students learn by playing, discovering, and imitating. They use all their senses for this, which is why appropriate materials are vital for them. Unfortunately, this is not always available in some families. What is usually there, however, is goodwill. Most parents react enthusiastically if they know in advance what they need to prepare for their toddler’s online lesson. Discuss with them the purchase of craft materials, crayons, paints. Keep in mind that it must remain affordable. Set up a basket with items from the school to lend to parents who are struggling.
Another essential element to expand the knowledge of the smallest children is storytelling. If you tell a fairy tale or story, find suitable images beforehand and upload them easily with the BigBlueButton online classroom function for smart presentations. Not only images can make an online story interesting, but also video clips and sounds.
Consider that little children only learn in environments where they feel safe. The teacher’s input is indispensable, but also that of the parents. However, remember that you are the professional! Another challenge in online teaching for this age group is that the little ones may miss the structure of in-person learning. Coping with this deficit imaginatively is a key requirement.
Children between the ages of six and ten can already do a lot themselves and are very keen to show it. Yet, at this stage of their development, they still largely depend on the intervention of their teacher and parents.
Some of BigBlueButton’s powerful moderation functions become relevant now, such as your command over the microphone. Most children of this age love the multi-user whiteboard and love showing their work via the shared notes function. At this age, the fun factor still plays a significant role.
There is little information about webinars as a teaching instrument for six- to ten-year-olds. Children at this age are sometimes extremely gullible but, on other occasions, critical to the extreme. It is not unlikely that they feel cheated when seeing their teacher, but they cannot interact. This situation may be different if someone they do not know presents the webinar, and they accept that person as an authority figure. So, it can be interesting to present your own class as a live webinar, record it and exchange files with other teachers.
Everything you can do with a classic schoolbook, you can reinforce with digital tools to present your learning material in a flexible, interactive, visually attractive, and differentiated way. From this age group onwards, you can make full use of all BigBlueButton’s functions.
Launch polls and quizzes to test the prior knowledge of your young audience. You can present your pupils with a balanced mix of text, images, video, and animations to introduce the new learning material. A wide range of activating and varied assignments will help them process the new learning material step by step.
From now on, you can also increasingly divide your pupils into breakout rooms to work together in smaller groups on more challenging assignments. Also, consider the chat function to have one-on-one conversations with your students.
When teaching students at this age, specific moderator functions may prove to be indispensable. On the other hand, many students will now more easily reach for tasks they can perform independently. It is up to you to quench their thirst for it.
At a certain age, students become extremely well acquainted with the Internet and everything you can do with it. That makes your job as a teacher easier, but on the other hand, it also makes it more complicated.
However, why should you have a problem if your pupils are proficient with technologies such as YouTube, Instagram and Canva? Consider encouraging them by instructing them to create their assignments and tasks with these programs. The value of creativity is often underestimated at this stage of education. Thanks to BigBlueButton, uploading and displaying the various pieces of work will be no problem at all.
Factors other than age may determine the best teaching methodology for your class. For certain subjects, you may have to deviate significantly from your usual pattern.
Specific classes are excellent for teaching online, such as language learning, mathematics, geography, and history. Practical subjects such as chemistry and biology will appeal much more to your resourcefulness.
However, it does not mean you must reinvent the wheel. A search on the Internet can provide you with complete teaching methods for pupils in specific age groups, tailored to the subject matter you want to teach or other elements. Many teachers and schools have developed materials for their own use in recent years and now make these widely available free of charge. Without a doubt, there are packages that partly or wholly meet your expectations and those of your students.