In almost every aspect, the coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives. To say that it has impacted our entire system of education across the world is an understatement. This pandemic has put learning into a virtual setup.
And for the students, it’s even harder to focus on lessons. A comfortable bed in sight, the television around the corner? And the cozy ambiance of their homes in general? It’s just too hard!
Educators struggle to keep their audience’s attention. But, there are things that you can do to spice up your presentations. Guaranteed, after applying our tips below, your audience will be hooked by the end of your lesson.
Teachers have already gone far and beyond in how they present their lessons. One popular and effective method is to present their lesson by telling a story. Teachers can create a storyline to which their students can relate; making the presentation more of a dialogue rather than a monologue. A good story at the beginning of a presentation is the best way to capture your audience’s attention. It could be a personal story, a funny one, popular stories –– it’s all up to you.
A story can even set the mood for your presentation. It can create suspense, draw out emotions, or bring a topic to life. You can incorporate the characters in your story into your slides so your students will better grasp your points.
In this way, teachers won’t need to take time formulating their own examples. Plus, they wouldn’t be the only one speaking the entire time. Also, it’s a good way for teachers to assess whether their students are paying attention. And if so, how much they comprehend the lesson.
Digital whiteboard applications allow students to create their own examples. Sharing with the class is easy. And students don’t have to go through the hassle of actually sending files by email. It also takes some of the load off the teacher by collating the students’ examples.
2. Create Non-Linear Presentations
When teachers present their points in a strict order, they run the risk of losing the interest and attention of their students. Most presenters follow a certain order in their slides, starting from slide 1,2,3, and so on.
What if I told you it’s okay to jump slides? By creating a non-linear presentation, your audience is in control of what slide should come next.
Presenters can respond to their students’ areas of interest by selecting a topic that is hyperlinked. This allows teachers to jump to any chosen slide in the deck – and back again.
For example, you can create a table of contents and list the topics you will be discussing. Each topic will bring you to a different slide.
It also makes for a good homepage which you can revisit throughout the presentation. Plus, it keeps your students wondering what’s coming next.
Applications such as Prezi help educators create non-linear presentations. Prezi has easy-to-customize templates that will help in demonstrating topics. It blends the teacher’s presence with visual content perfectly.
If you want to see more alternatives, then check out this list of presentation softwares. It suggests 10 programs meant for both newbies and pros, as well as gives a few tips for making an absorbing presentation.
3. Present Polls, Surveys, Quizzes
Polls, surveys, and quizzes – these are good tools in a classroom. Whether they’re virtual or not, they keep the students engaged.
What’s cool about a poll is that it’s a great ice breaker. And it gives your students a peek at the upcoming topic. And if you take a poll in the middle of the discussion, it serves as a breather too!
Polls are simple questions that have few answers. These are useful in finding a consensus. This could be by raising hands, submitting ballots, or even asking students to form groups.
Surveys consist of questions with choices and are usually printed out. It’s even easier for teachers to compile students’ answers since everything now is digital. But there are times when these survey questions will need short answers to quickly gather opinions from students.
Lastly, quizzes can test students to assess their understanding of the material. Teachers can use the results to provide more detail and clarification where needed.
Applications such as Visme help create an interactive quiz. Teachers can create questions and, depending on the answer, a corresponding slide will appear.
Polls, surveys, and quizzes can either be announced beforehand or not. Teachers can also ask the students to create their own survey questions and quizzes. This provides an added degree of participation.
There are many classroom management software like Google Classroom with built-in tools for creating polls, surveys, and quizzes. Additionally, the software can create assignments and offer many other useful features to keep the students interested in the subject matter.
What’s more? The entire grading process is streamlined. As soon as the students submit their work, the assignment is “graded” and the results instantly available to the instructor. Results are available to share either individually with the students or as a group.
4. Use Interactive Slides
In remote learning, teachers and students do not meet face-to-face. The teacher’s presence is reduced to a thumbnail on the web; not to mention a highly distracting environment. Your only way to give your lessons is through presentations.
One helpful tool to use is Google Slides. One of the best things about it is that it’s stored in the cloud that students can access anytime. But how do you make it engaging to hook your audience’s attention?
Luckily, there are Google Slides themes that will make your presentation engaging. These pre-designed themes have a range of styles that will be perfect for every topic.
Each theme has all the tools and functions you will need for your report too. You can insert graphs, pictures, charts, and more to aid you in getting your message across.
5. Incorporate Games When Needed
Aside from conducting polls, surveys, and quizzes, educators can also use games in their lessons. Games are very helpful in capturing students’ attention. And when grades are at stake? Students will more likely listen to your discussion and take part.
Teachers can prepare all sorts of games. This Family Feud-like game below is the perfect example.
You can divide your class into two groups that would be competing with each other. Games like this one help build trust and confidence among your students. Games are fun and proven to be very engaging and are usually a hit among students. So, why don’t you give one a try?
And for students who have been listening to classes all day, games are a breather. There are plenty of interactive presentation games available online. You can incorporate them into your slides to make them more engaging.
6. Group Breakout Session
Sometimes taking a break can refresh and keep students stimulated and interested in the class. And it also gives them time to process the lessons. Add a section in your class where students can have an open discussion or breakout session. It can help students learn from each other by sharing insights and exchanging opinions.
Breakout sessions also help students build their confidence as they have the chance to share their insights with the whole class or in small groups. Applications like NowComment are great for students. It allows them to share insights through real-time chats.
Another great tool for teachers is Yo Teach. This application lets you create real-time chat rooms. It is a perfect venue for students to send in text-like discussions, messages, and even share pictures.
Online chat is a great way for students to collaborate and interact with each other in one place. One good thing: you don’t have to deal with the noise of an actual classroom!
Adapting to Change
The remote learning setup is a very new concept for teachers and students alike. Unfortunately, the extent of the pandemic is still uncertain. So, the virtual classrooms are where both teachers and students will be meeting for the foreseeable future. Hopefully, our tips above will help educators keep their students hooked on learning!