February 25 is Digital Learning Day. As learning from home progresses during COVID-19, we want to celebrate this year’s Digital Learning Day by helping kids learn how to focus on video calls and beat zoom fatigue. Video calls and zoom classroom meetings have quickly become the norm during this past year. Although it can never replace the one-on-one interaction between educator and student, this virtual technology has allowed teachers and kids to stay connected while being apart. The challenge now is keeping learners motivated and engaged with their fellow classmates and teacher while navigating the digital world.
In the How to help kids focus on video calls blog post from Education.com, helpful tips for parents are introduced in the hopes of maintaining a successful learning experience for their kids while at home. To start, take a look at their setting. Just like in the classroom, students should have a space that’s just for learning and free from distractions. For instance, setting up a workstation at the kitchen table might not be the best place. Usually, the kitchen is a high-traffic zone of the house. Staying focused while a family member makes a sandwich a few feet away might pose a challenge. The same goes for the family room. The temptation of turning on the TV and watching their favorite shows is too enticing. Instead, look for a quiet place away from others who might be in the house, with a desk and chair. If a quiet place is not likely in your household, consider using a pair of headphones so your students can remain plugged into the lesson. Download this free worksheet from Education.com as a quick guide to setting up successful video calls.
Next, the blog post suggests setting realistic expectations. For instance, it’s a lot easier for students to lose focus and get tired of staring at their computer screen all day. To combat this, schedule several breaks throughout the lesson. Encourage students to take a few minutes to stretch their legs, go to the bathroom, or make a quick snack. Allowing them to rest their eyes will help combat Zoom fatigue. Ensure plenty of offline learning options are available. This could be starting a reading group with fellow classmates, in which they read a few chapters on their own, then get together on a Zoom call to discuss it. It could mean conducting an at-home experiment with their siblings and parents, then sharing their discoveries with the class. It could also mean starting an art activity using unique materials found in their area. Take a look at our At-Home Learning Pinterest board for some inspiration.