It’s been a year unlike any other, and for students, parents and educators, it’s already been a school year unlike any other. Based on community health concerns, districts are choosing (and often changing) the method for teaching today’s learners.
There are many factors to consider in each learning model to first and foremost protect the health and safety for all. Meeting learning milestones and continuing academic achievement through this unprecedented situation is a close second.
These tips for popular learning models will help keep students and staff focused and engaged this school year and beyond.
Students receive instruction through a traditional classroom model
- Get flexible: One of the most challenging aspects of classroom learning during a pandemic is the need for safe distancing. Even in crowded education spaces, mobile, sit-stand desks give educators the flexibility to place students (and themselves!) in the best configuration for the space. They can easily roll the desks to different locations based on each lesson plan.
- Start cleaning: Clean, clean, clean. It’s a rhythm that’s at the foundation of a successful in-person learning model to help curb the spread of infection. Consider workspaces with an easy-to-clean design that doesn’t require costly or harsh chemicals. Desks with simple, clean lines take just a minute to wipe down with standard wipes or soapy water.
- Meet individual needs: The uncertainty of these challenging times can quickly impact student physical and mental health. Even with strict guidelines necessary to make in-person learning work, give students the freedom to choose how they learn within those confines. Sit-stand desks allow students to pick how they learn best in that moment with the flexibility to switch positions on-demand, for greater focus, engagement and overall wellness.
- Head outside: Breathe fresh air into the structured in-person learning experience by heading outside. Greater distancing flexibility and the natural air flow will help keep students and staff safe, while giving everyone a much-needed dose of Vitamin D! Research shows that being outside supports a more active, happier lifestyle that also ups concentration.
Students receive instruction through a combination of virtual learning and in-person, classroom learning
- Combine best practices: Take our tips for in-person and distance learning and apply them to this combined learning model. The same recommendations will help support the best outcomes with the added benefit of infusing variety into each week to provide a balanced approach for students and educators.
- Meet everyone’s needs: If teachers are facilitating in-person learning while streaming or recording lessons for distance learners, they need the tools to handle both tasks at once. A mobile, all-in-one teacher workspace or makerspace will securely hold devices and supplies that they can take anywhere for the most comfort and flexibility.
- Be open to trial and error: Learning or teaching through both in-person and distance learning means you should be open to doing what works best in each situation. The same schedule for in-person learning may not translate well for distance learning. Heading outside as a class while at school may reign in focus, while becoming an unnecessary distraction at home.
- Keep everyone included: Many districts allow students to choose full-time distance learning, even when most students follow a hybrid model. Help all students feel included during in-person sessions with mobile TV display carts. Virtual students will feel like they have their own seat in the classroom or wherever each lesson plan takes you.
Students receive instruction at home through online learning platforms and smart devices
- Create a dedicated school space: Just like at-home workers can quickly get distracted by a full laundry basket or the TV in the living room, at-home learners may also struggle to keep their focus through the school day. Establish a dedicated school space in your home free of video games, unnecessary smart devices or other distractions.
- Drive participation: Learning or teaching behind a screen makes it challenging to support interaction and participation. Incorporate brain boosters into lesson plans or spurts of physical activity, like jumping jacks or a stand-up moment. Even low-level physical activity like standing will help increase energy, focus and productivity.
- Set a schedule: Consistency in the classroom helps support positive classroom behavior and outcomes. You can bring that principle to distance learning by setting specific times for learning and for breaks. With a routine, students will more easily adapt to this unconventional learning method and know what’s expected of them each day.
- Think outside the box: Mobile learning or teaching workspaces fit in kitchens, spare bedrooms or even patios, not just home offices. Let students and teachers learn or teach wherever they feel the most inspired and engaged. Every person is different, so allow the flexibility to take in new ideas in a place that works best for each individual. A simple mobile pole cart can help educators record or stream virtual lessons from anywhere.
For more ways to support active learning environments at home or in the classroom, visit www.ergotron.com/education.