Teachers have it harder than most people. Imagine the dilemma they must be feeling now. They want their students to learn. They want to teach them the best way they know. But suddenly, the pandemic happens, and they are forced to learn to teach them online. Gone are the plans that they curated for their students. Kindergarten teachers should have been busy decorating their bulletin boards and setting up the art corner. College professors would’ve been excited about the prospect of meeting new kids whose minds they will hone.
These kids are the future, but they are now stuck at home trying to learn from a video on their laptops. It’s the same thing with every person who planned on attending school, workshops, training, and seminar. Even employers are having a hard time training their employees on different skills. Some of them who need to migrate to a different system have to do it very slowly because older employees cannot keep up with the technology needed.
So how can you make your students pay more attention? How can you make the experience of virtual learning as close to the real thing as possible? Will virtual learning ever be okay, and will the teachers and students ever embrace it?
Why Is Your Workspace Important?
It is only when people started working from home that they realized it is not a sustainable setup. While the benefits—flexible time, snacks at your disposal, no need to commute, etc.—are beyond one’s wildest dreams, the impact on productivity might far outweigh those benefits. People working from home are incredibly distracted.
Unless they have a home office, they would see their kids running around and stop work to break apart a fight. They’ll see the dishes piling up in the sink and feel a need to wash them before finishing a report. Even workers who live alone find it hard to concentrate because of the many things they have to take care of in the house.
That’s why it’s important to set up a workspace that’s as close to a physical classroom as possible. It will help your students learn better. Imagine how instructors are facilitating EMT training lessons today. EMT instructors need to show their students how to conduct basic, noninvasive interventions to help save lives and reduce harm in emergencies. They are one of the first responders to a scene, so they must learn how to handle such situations.
But how can instructors facilitate that learning virtually? The instructors should set up the workspace exactly as how it would look like in an actual training facility. They should have a dummy of a patient, a stethoscope, a thermometer, and a sphygmomanometer. The instructors should also show students how tools like tweezers, forceps, magnifiers, and penlights will help them in different situations.
Setting Up the Workspace
Teachers had to step out of their comfort zones because of the coronavirus pandemic. Suddenly, they have to learn to facilitate a class through Zoom and Skype. This was the primary challenge for them. But if there’s one thing that can help them right now, it’s setting up their workspace the way their actual classrooms would look like.
If you have a spare room, then decorate it similar to your classroom. If that’s not possible, set up your workspace in an area of the house where it gets as much natural light as possible. You also need a blank wall behind you, so you can put up a whiteboard there. For kindergarten classes, you can set that wall up with art supplies, alphabet magnets, number boards, and other things you’ll find in a kinder classroom.
Of course, it’s also important for teachers to have the proper equipment and accessories such as noise-canceling headsets and microphones and cameras. Make sure that your students can see and hear you clearly. This is the most important thing that you should consider in a virtual learning setup. It’s going to be the foundation of how your students will adapt to virtual learning.
It’s a whole new world, and by the looks of it, virtual learning will stay. While many campuses want to resume classes normally, many teachers and students also realized that there is great potential for virtual learning. Because while distractions are prevalent in a home, it won’t be the same once people can safely go out and stay in coffee shops and co-working spaces. With this realization also comes the challenges that instructors must face, but technology might take care of these challenges for them.