Life hacks for remote learning/teaching

Remote learning/teaching has become a challenge for students and teachers. It is often discussed, that offline lessons and classes are more effective, that students are not satisfied with studying in front of the monitors, that only a lecturer has his camera on.
But aren't modern technologies making it possible to conduct online learning/teaching in an interesting and effective way? Let's figure this out and find some life hacks to turn online lectures into efficient and powerful educational mechanism.
Iryna Manvelishvili
SD Platform activist
First things first, students have to understand how to work with a platform where the class will be held. Sounds trivial and simple? Yes, but it is a basic skill without which a student just cannot get the most out of the class, because he or she also needs to be able to turn on the camera or sound, use chat/private chat, screen sharing, and screen recording.

Rules of conduct should not be ignored during classes, because disrupting a class is not only possible offline.
It is necessary to explain to students, that unless they are speaking, microphones must be turned off to avoid excessive noise. It is also important to turn cameras on, because it makes things psychologically easier for a teacher, and students feel like they are in class, so they will not be engaged in personal matters. The rule of raising a hand should also be emphasised.

A lesson is not a one-person show. An online lecture should not be turned into monologue. In discussions the truth is born, and in a dialogue the subject is mastered. It is worth trying to leave theoretical material for self-studying, because having a certain knowledge base in advance will make discussing difficult issues easier for students. And if something was unclear, they can tell about it. It would be great if students learned to apply theoretical knowledge in practice in class, as it would be more useful and would make a class more interesting.

Learning/teaching in front of the monitor is exhausting not only for teachers, but for students as well. So, to help them enjoy and relax a bit during the class, prepare a joke or a short story related to the topic, maybe even an exercise, a meme, or a movie clip. This will keep the audience entertained and energised for further learning.

Don't forget to be creative! Presentations, videos, essays, poems, drawings – they are great methods of immersion in the topic. Of course, there is no need to force it, but to suggest it.

The Internet can be a great friend and help a teacher to make classes more diverse, so teachers shouldn't be afraid of using all the online applications available. The World Wide Web undoubtedly contains something that will make their practical classes or lectures unforgettable.

If you have doubts about your teaching methods and don't know if your audience likes them, ask your students if they are satisfied and what they would like to change in the studying process.

Grades are no longer the ultimate aim of the educational process.
Students need feedback and work on mistakes to improve their knowledge and skills. If the knowledge check is limited to tests, then it is most likely not knowledge that is being tested, but the ability to find information in extreme conditions. Would you like such an "objective" assessment of your knowledge?

What can you do to make your students want to learn?
Get them interested! Human interest makes people search for information, spend time reading and processing it. Perhaps nowadays, when what is taught in class can be found on the Internet, teachers need to change their attitude to the learning/teaching process a little bit and try themselves as mentors?

Everyone has their own vision of how to make the learning/teaching process effective and interesting. Some people believe that lectures are the best, while others prefer to organise discussions. There are simple methods that don't require the teacher to spend time on preparation, because he or she can just mutter the material to himself or herself. At the same time, someone else will prepare presentations and search for video materials, prepare crosswords and tests. What's the difference? Students will have no desire to attend the classes of the first type of teachers, but the classes of the second type will be popular.
There are many funny stories about online studying on the Internet, so we have prepared the top 5 life hacks that will prevent you from that.
1. Find a place in the house that will serve as a good background. Check the lighting.
2. Choose clothes that will not blend in with the background!
3. Make sure your microphone and camera are working before you start. Do not trick with animal filters if you do not know how to turn them off.
4. Ask students to use their real names.
5. Don't deliver a class while driving or in a restaurant, you'd better reschedule it.

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