Raise your hand if you’ve been to a Zoom meeting in the last three months. Keep your hand up if your screen time increased 10x over. I get it! I am tired of being online all the time too. Our students are also tired of being constantly connected in order to learn. Sure, our students are 21st-century learners and part of the tech generation, but many students prefer being in school than working online. That’s why as online learning continued this spring, many of you shared that attendance dropped off in many of your classrooms and schools. So, what can be done to improve attendance during online learning? Here are some tips to help online learning attendance increase if and when you participate in online learning in the coming months.
Poll parents and students to improve attendance during online learning.
To start, send out a Google Form to ask parents and students for the best times for live meetings. Of course, you want it to adhere to your schedule and district requirements, but student and parent input is key. During this time of online learning, students and parents may have other responsibilities in and outside the home. For younger students whose parents must report to work outside the home, they may be at daycare or places where internet is not readily accessible. Consider different options to make it work for the majority of families.
Use one live learning platform to help online learning attendance.
Switching back and forth between Zoom and Google Meet (or other live feeds) is frustrating and confusing for both parents and students. Keep your delivery consistent so students understand how to reach you and use different platforms.
In addition, use one way to deliver asynchronous learning content. For the teaching and learning that does not have to happen live, share resources on Google Classroom or Seesaw, for example. Don’t switch back and forth between multiple platforms.
Make live meetings about your students, not you.
It’s easy to get in front of the camera and just teach like you’ve always done. However, expecting your students to listen to lessons on Zoom or Google Meet is unrealistic. Record screencasts for your kids to watch on their own, then let the meetings be about asking questions and sharing their stories. Use synchronous learning time to establish relationships with students online by checking in, playing games, and just talking!
Reach out to parents.
Parents and guardians are your first point of contact to get your students online and learning. You’ll know where parents are at in regards to their online learning mentality and situation after a quick phone call. If they are unwilling to participate, then work with school administrators and counselors and make a plan for students. On the other hand, most parents want their students to continue in school whether it’s online or in-person. This is new to them too! Make sure they understand how to get their child connected and online from home. If there are problems with internet connectivity or device access, involve school or district administration to help your students without internet access.
Share engaging resources and activities.
Having students simply work on standardized test practice or read online passages over and over will make them want to unplug instead of plug in. Improve attendance during online learning by sharing lessons that incorporate engagement and fun! Lessons on everything from project-based learning activities to Hyperdocs can be found online. Check out these resources to share with your students to help online learning attendance!
Help improve attendance during online learning no matter how much longer your students are learning from home. You can keep your students connected by reaching out to parents and sharing resources consistently.