Virtual teaching and learning: tech tools to increase participation in virtual discussion

The idea of the virtual classroom has exploded in popularity in online education in recent years. A virtual classroom is essentially a collaborative online environment that aims to recreate the real-time teaching and learning associated with physical classroom environments without requiring participants to be present in the same setting. Besides this, a similar level of student participation may be given. If you want to get a high-quality online education tailored according to individual students’ needs, then join the IsBerne Online School.  The International School Switzerland provides a quality online education program that creates trustworthy, long-term student engagement and connects multilingual people worldwide. ISBerne Online is an instructional approach that meets the basic needs of students and ensures their progress. Homeschooling also requires a standard course outline, so our program is also for homeschooled students looking for a far more organized structure.

However, there are several challenges to virtual education, one of the most significant of which is student participation. Without the right strategy in place, achieving the same degree of engagement, participation, and general ‘buy-in’ as you can in a traditional classroom can be impossible. One excellent way to assist the students in developing these skills is to use online discussion tools. Plus, the opportunity to participate responsibly in online forums is a valuable 21st-century skill in and of itself. Following online discussions, students are more likely to have more vigorous in-class talks — the kind where students lift their hands and talk out loud. Students may interact remotely in online forums, and their views and viewpoints are often reinforced. Following that, they’re usually much more likely to speak up in class and to do so thoughtfully. Here are few other compelling reasons to engage in virtual discussion tools:

  • Students prefer to think more seriously about what they mean, so remarks are more lasting.
  • Students find it easier to express opposing views or “out-of-the-box” thoughts.
  • Students also understand and communicate more complex and persuasive points and claims as they type their answers. 

Various technology tools can be used to generate and sustain interest in a virtual classroom environment.

  • Padlet is a free interactive platform for educators and students that is great for community work, assignments, and conversations. You can begin by making a basic visual board, which students can easily add to with video, photographs, screen recordings, audio recordings, links, and text, among other things. Asking general leading questions and then allowing students to answer creatively can be an excellent way to spark conversation and encourage students to respond in various formats.
  • Flipgrid is a great platform for teachers who want to build video discussion boards. Educators can start discussions with a short video that outlines the subject, and students can readily answer and debate with one another by filming their short videos. The use of video in the interactive classroom creates a more intimate atmosphere by allowing students to see and hear each other rather than relying solely on text. Flipgrid, like Padlet, is free and straightforward to attach to or embed.
  • Yellowing is a discussion board platform combined with learning management systems such as Canvas, Blackboard, and others. Learners and teachers will mention each other  in the comments and tweets, hyperlink blogs, share videos, like posts, bookmark, comments, and #hashtag material, among other social media tools. Yellowing now has a gamification function that can monitor users’ points automatically based on how often they engage in the conversation. The points system will motivate students to participate in the debate and collaborate above the minimum requirements.
  • Kialo’s is a free website that was created for educators in particular. Kialo’s debates and tracking topics feature help encourage online conversation. Teachers should host classroom discussions in which students can apply what they’ve learned, create their perspectives on the material, and consolidate what they’ve learned. Students should choose a subject for debate, take a side (pro or con), and add their perspectives through “claims.” Any of these statements will lead to further claims that either endorse or contradict the previous ones. Any of these statements will lead to other shares that support or refute it. Teachers will use the comment section to give students input, propose changes, and pose questions. Students will quickly work with one another to strengthen their points, illustrations, and phrasing on this website. This forum allows students to collaborate to discover the most effective way to communicate their ideas; in practice, everyone has a voice and space to discuss topics at their own pace.

 

Online discussions are essential for virtual learning and teaching; the interactive aspect of these discussions allows teachers to experiment with new tools that support student participation in a completely virtual environment. These tech tools will inspire engaging peer participation and innovative responses. However, students’ innovative teaching and genuine care will still be the most necessary means of providing a friendly and fascinating atmosphere. By searching for a way to foster a human relationship in interactive spaces, virtual classrooms will be an excellent learning opportunity that can be!

 

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