It’s very rare nowadays to be in a classroom that uses no technology. There are so many amazing digital tools that enhance how teachers explain a subject to their students or manage their classroom. We live in a world where blended-learning has become the norm. Although many schools and teachers have adapted there is still another level that any school or tutor can go to. Many universities offer online courses which is great but now private schools and tutors should too.
A digital classroom incorporates e-learning tools and can be done a few different ways. It can be a traditional classroom where the teachers use technology to help the students understand the material. Another version is where the teacher has their traditional classroom but is recording themselves for others to view online as well. Then there is a fully online class which involves no physical room. We’re going to focus more on the last 2 options.
The 3 Types
For any 3 of those options you can then choose the type of teachings you want to provide which can be either of these:
1. Synchronous learning which is a live classroom for which you can do live webinars or massive open online courses.
2. Asynchronous learning which has the students choose when they want to do the coursework and they can look to forums and other communications to ask questions and look for answers.
3. Blended learning which uses the above 2 types based on what is being taught and what will work best for those students.
Where you are a major university, an independent private school, or a tutor you can benefit from incorporating this blended or online classroom. Many people have full schedules or live in a location that is far from the school they want to attend. The people who are unable to physically be in your classroom are the people you can go after.
Imagine for a minute you are the owner of an English language school. You get students from various countries to come to the US and learn English in your physical location. Maybe you have 100 students that join your school a year. Now, imagine being able to teach English to students from any country without them having to physically move to the US, something that can be very difficult for many to do.
The same education the students who physically attend can be given to those who are online. Instead of having 100 students you now have 5,000 because there is no space limit when it comes to the internet.
How it can help
Online classrooms can provide educations to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to learn. It’s also less expensive for students but earns you more revenue because of the volume. You may be thinking does online courses really help students learn as much as being in the classroom. The answer is yes with the use of interactive e-learning groups where students can easily communicate with one another and instructor lectures can be watched multiple times.
Of course, there are right ways and wrong ways of incorporating a digital/online classroom. Just providing some learning materials and a quiz at the end isn’t really going to help them learn much. However, making it truly interactive and using the right technology tools can make all the difference.
Any materials that students may need can be done digitally. Workbooks, quizzes, homework, tests can all be done online easily. Providing this in your physical classroom will also save money on paper.
You can build your community of students more than ever before and it doesn’t require that much tech. Here are some different ways you can incorporate technology into your teachings to increase your student base.
1. One of the simplest ways is to set up a camera in your classroom or tutoring area. You can record yourself while you are teaching. You can upload the intro videos onto Youtube to get people interested in the material then offer a payment for additional classes.
A variation to this is to make a bunch of short 1-2 minute videos which explain a specific task. Provide a bunch of those on Youtube for free. On your website, you can have a purchase courses section which all youtube videos can be linked to. Students can purchase these to learn on their own time.
2. You can do a live classroom that people sign up for. This will require a certain level internet capabilities, website features, and functions which requires more intricate development. It’s best to hire a website development company to take care of this for you.
With this option not only can you still have students physically in front of you but with a proper recording device anyone in the world can join and watch your classroom. You can provide them with a way to submit questions which you can answer after the class as well.
3. You can do a combination of the 2 options above. This will take the longest to set up but it is totally worth it to be able to teach more people. Creating your own masterclass for a subject is the way to go. Many students prefer this type of method.
Providing a Great Educational Experience
Something to keep in mind when choosing any online teaching option is that it’s not just about offering your videos and teachings. You have to go beyond that step and also make the actual educational experience better. Make sure you do things that engage them, allow them to reflect on the material, discuss with them, and have them use apps if they can.
Interaction is incredibly important, so making sure you include that in your digital teachings will make your classroom stand out. Students need that interaction with other students and it is the one thing that online or digital classes struggle with. Creating online study groups and providing open communication with all students can benefit them in so many ways.
That being said, a digital class also provides opportunities for students to interact with one another even more. In a physical classroom, you would speak to and get into groups only with the people in the classroom with you. However, if you use online communication tools not only can your students in the physical space meet but they can also meet with others from around the world who are taking the course too. This means they can have a more well-rounded experience rather than staying in their classroom bubble.
Before and After Implementation
It can be really exciting to get this implemented but before you do you need to do a couple things first. Then, right after you launch you want to ensure what you are doing is correct. Make sure you do the following:
1. Analyze your target audience to determine what their needs are and exactly what they are trying to learn and what you are trying to teach. Match your goals with what your student’s needs are.
2. Decide the best way to present your information based on that. What online tools will work best with what you are teaching. What activities can be replaced by online tools, what kind of interaction tools will your students need, and what learning tools like apps or websites can they use that fits with your curriculum.
3. Once you launch your new digital classroom it’s time to beta test it with your inner circle and then market it.
4. Evaluate what works and what doesn’t and make simple adjustments to ensure your students are excited and properly learning the material.
It can definitely seem a little overwhelming to implement some or all of these. The benefits of providing your tutoring services or private school class digitally are vast. So many people want to just click on a link and learn from wherever they are at. You not only increase your revenue but also provide education to those who may not have been able to do it before.
If you are wondering how you can learn more about what you should incorporate and how to do it, contact Sakshi Sharma from SDI at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408.621.8481. We can help you take your classroom to the next level.