Tricks & Tips
Teachers and students across the globe are adapting to online classrooms. This might have seemed intimidating at first, but here at Creative English we like to look on the bright side. There are many advantages to teaching online, and we’re working around the clock to improve our methods and develop new resources to help our company grow and support other teachers too. We’ve compiled a list of tips and resources to share what we’ve learned so far.
1. Embrace the opportunity
Children can learn valuable computer skills through online learning which can provide them with many long term benefits. Learning how to work on a computer or device prepares students for what the future world of working might look like. This is a chance for students and teachers to learn and understand the tools that have been made available in the virtual world. At Creative English, we’re using Skype calls to conduct our lessons and sharing resources through our online resource library. This page available for all ESL teachers. You can find worksheets and lesson plans to help make your transition to online teaching as smooth as possible.
2. Manage time effectively
Maintaining a clear lesson schedule has been beneficial towards maximising our lesson time. Remember that activities can take more or less time in an online classroom. By planning extra activities, you can ensure you’ll have enough material in case some activities take less time than planned. Any material that isn’t covered can easily be pushed to the next lesson.
3. Take notes
Take note of things that aren’t working! A different learning platform can be like a different language - not everything will translate. Adapting to online teaching means finding new tools and resources to replace games and activities that you’d usually do in a classroom. Having students write their responses in chats is a good way to keep them engaged and monitor their work. We’re using Keynote to make slideshows and quizzes as a way of visually displaying information to our students. Other useful programs include Adobe Illustrator which allows teachers to write and draw in real time. If you’re looking for a free online whiteboard option, we suggest aww app.
4. Keep organised
Online classrooms present a great opportunity for keeping organised. Assignments can be shared and saved in places where not only students but also parents have access to them even after the lesson is finished. This greatly reduces the potential for homework to become lost or forgotten. Try setting up a folder for each of your classes as a place to store assignments and notes. For lesson planning, we use an online system that we created ourselves and shortly will be available to the public.
5. Simple solutions
One daunting aspect of online teaching is the potential for technical problems. They’re bound to happen - but these simple solutions can help reduce any issues you may be having. Be sure your computer or device is near the router. If possible, use an ethernet cable to ensure an uninterrupted connection. Reduce nearby noises by using headphones or asking others to stay in a different room during the lesson. Communicate early on about any problems you may be having with students. This will help you find solutions sooner.
6. Don’t worry, be happy
Remember to SMILE! Facial expressions and body language are important tools for online teaching - especially for younger learners. Using props such as stuffed animals or smiley faces will keep lessons fun and help maintain the attention of your students. Opt for a simple background, such as a white wall or some coloured paper to keep your classroom simple, elegant and functional.
We hope these tips and resources have been useful! In this challenging time we’re all looking for new ways to grow. If you have any other tips, feel free to share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking for more tips about teaching English as a second language? Check out our Instagram and Youtube pages.
Good luck and happy learning!