It’s a reality many of us are surprised to be living: Virtual learning has taken charge and has been in effect for weeks now, as a result of worldwide school shutdowns because of the coronavirus pandemic. This unprecedented move has left educators and students scrambling, unsure of what to make of this response to a global health crisis.
Unfortunately, the novelty of virtual learning is something that faded after only a few days. The days of the week start to mesh together; the lines of leisure and work blur to the point where Saturday and Sunday lose any sort of meaning. The worst part is the fact that real connections in the school building are simply irreplaceable. And students losing their engagement and motivation–because of boredom, worry, or things totally unrelated to school at all–can become all too common.
If this virus does continue for a few more weeks, or even months, we’ll have to kick our creativity into high gear to maintain it successfully. Teachers will need to continue to look for signs of their students checking out and explore ways to engage students daily. Google Meet is a strong candidate for continuing to keep students and teachers heartily engaged. Seeing your teachers/students via online video at least once a week is one key to keeping everyone invested in learning. Building on tangible interactions is the key to success as the virus continues to spread across the United States and the world.