It feels like ages ago since the first announcement of travel restrictions, the scramble to adjust flights and hotels, and the gargantuan efforts of organizers, administrators, and educators to make the best of the situation at hand.
Since this time, we have participated in numerous virtual conferences, online webinars, and even learned new ways to present. As we return to the in-person setting, here are 7 learnings that we plan to keep for 2022 and beyond.
1. Explicit Attention
When presenting in person it was easy to see who was paying attention. This had to be done differently online, even if participants had their video on it’s hard to know what they are looking at.
This meant that we had to find new ways to make attention an explicit act. Asking “Is this making sense to you? Type 1 in the chat if you’ve got it” is a good way to ensure a balance between the amount of effort required to show understanding and the time required.
Polls have been helpful to gauge understanding, so much so that many presentations start with an open-ended poll to find out what is most important to their audience.
2. Formative Engagement
Having time for questions upfront can give us insights into what learners are curious about. An online poll can quickly brainstorm ideas, and a formative quiz can find out how much they know before the class starts. A list of questions as a list of cards can open up discussion.
We have learned that it’s important to focus on creative learning because creative expression is how we provide context and relevance around what is taught. A resilient education means giving students the motivation and drive to learn in the classroom and the living room.
3. Creative Interest
When we move from the classroom to the living room we are not only dealing with other distracted students in the classroom we are dealing with video games, movies, and social media. These other interests will always take priority over the curriculum that is taught. So we've learned that we have to align with these interests. We cannot compete against them.
This does not mean that we have to start playing video games in class. Online educational videos can have a start time and end time to ensure that students only watch the parts most relevant for instruction are shown.
As an educator, to be able to quickly pull images from the internet or switch up the format of the activity is key. I don’t have time to relearn programs, so having the consistency of Lessons Online and the Lessons app in NUITEQ Snowflake is also very helpful.
Digital Learning Specialist
Walton County School District (USA)
4. Speaking and Listening
If dialogue is a part of the learning process then speaking and listening is an important life skill, we can foster this skill with NUITEQ Snowflake lesson activity feedback that can be achieved with text, audio, or even video.
5. Personalized Learning
NUITEQ is excited to have the opportunity to return to in-person conferences. We see the value of the face-to-face connection. We have always built our software assuming a high level of collaboration. Our goal is to take the best learnings of lockdowns as well as school closures and use that to promote encourage and enable the best practices in student engagement creativity. Meaningful personal connections are key and the term that is often used is personalized learning.
Since everyone has their own learning journey and since the influences at home can impact the learning experience even in a physical classroom, we need to lean in deep on personalized learning. NUITEQ Snowflake achieves this with lessons where you can go up or down a grade level, depending on the level of the students.
6. Curriculum Aligned
Teachers need resources to be aligned to the curriculum standards. We are excited to have our content aligned to the latest UK, US, and Australian curriculum standards. We wanted to create lesson activities that are not only short activities, but we also include lesson plans with instructional videos both online activities and worksheets. These lesson activities can be worked on later as homework or can be used offline if the student does not have a reliable Internet connection at home.
7. Active Learning
Active learning is key. We are not meant to sit in front of a screen for hours on end. Even in our own family, we work with brain breaks by bringing up some videos that are activities. I've seen this being used in classrooms to create an effect. Another reason is that students have energy that needs to be expended and when they have used some of that energy, they're able to better focus on the task at hand.
And so we need to make sure that our activities are not only the sage on the stage lecturing but also that there is lots of time for inquiry. Time for interacting is valuable and helps students remember what they learn in class.
In a flipped classroom, students watch instructional videos at home before the class. Alternatively, teachers can choose to actively watch videos with the class by pausing the video and asking questions.
NUITEQ is proud to have its headquarters in Skellefteå, Sweden close to the forest, mountains, and nature. We recognize that environmental awareness is important for a sustainable future. This is why we have learning activities focused on the environment and recycling practices that protect our planet.
Students are excited about learning when we use NUITEQ Snowflake. It doesn’t matter what I do, what topic I teach, they’re having so much fun. The best thing about it is they’re learning with interactivity.
Our key learnings at NUITEQ have been encapsulated in our Active Adaptive Curriculum presentation. School closures have resulted in learning gaps that require us to talk about technology in a personalized and creative way.
Experience the NUITEQ Snowflake Active Adaptive Curriculum with the link below.
Contact us, if you're interested in NUITEQ Snowflake for your school or district.