Michael Treco is a volunteer member of Columbia University’s Teacher College Young Alumni & Student Engagement Committee with a background of teaching the sciences. In the following article, Michael Treco discusses various teaching techniques for both remote and in-person learning that may change the way we approach education in the future.
Teaching students of any age requires adapting to each student’s learning style. This adaptation has been challenged in recent years. As teachers transition from classrooms to remote teaching and then into some combination of both it is essential to learn new techniques.
Michael Treco says that some of the best techniques for teaching remotely include using a variety of media forms, projects, and problem-centered lessons. On the classroom side, the best techniques include gamification, student-led activities, and personalized lessons.
Of course, these techniques don’t mean much without some elaboration. In the sections below, Michael Treco explains more about these teaching techniques and whether they have a place in education in the future.
Michael Treco on Remote Teaching Techniques
Michael Treco says that distance learning completely flips traditional techniques on their heads. This can make teaching more difficult for both students and teachers. To combat this, teachers can employ different techniques that make the best of the situation.
First off, teachers can take advantage of the fact that each student has a computer or tablet. This allows each student ease of access to various media forms. Podcasts, videos, educational games, and many other resources are available–many for free.
Michael Treco says that these resources can be used as lecture material or out-of-class lessons.
Next, keep students engaged with the lesson by having them make a creative project. This can be in teams or solo. By having the students create a presentation, video, or similar project they will gain a greater understanding of the topic.
Lastly, teachers can center their lessons around a problem for the students to solve. Like a project, problem-centered lessons keep the students involved and thinking. The problem that the students must solve can be anything from a low-stakes complication to a high-stakes crisis.
Each one of these techniques is variable enough to be applied to a class of any age or topic. Teachers can make use of tools in video call apps such as breakout rooms on Zoom. This will enable the students to collaborate more easily on certain techniques explains Michael Treco.
Teachers also need to have effective techniques in post-remote learning classrooms. Students who have never participated with in-person classes are used to different techniques and methods.
Michael Treco says that this especially applies to the younger learners; kindergarten, first and second graders just beginning their academic life. In addition to this, the culture of future generations of students changes going forward.
One of the best teaching methods is a technique called gamification. When student involvement lags, teachers can employ gamified lessons. These lessons combine learning with fun games or other game-style motivators.
Another great technique is to let the students take charge explains Michael Treco . This can take two main forms: letting students teach their peers and allowing them guide the course of their learning.
Teaching involves having mastery over the topic in question and being able to provide answers and knowledge in ways that can be understood. For a student to teach another they must analyze where their own knowledge is. If they struggle, this then becomes an identified a weak area to work on.
Michael Treco says that another style of student-led lessons allows their curiosity to motivate them. When a student feels in charge of their learning, they will be much more invested. If they are not initially curious about the topic at hand there are a few ways to encourage curiosity.
Lastly, it is incredibly beneficial to personalize lessons for each student. Teachers should look for ways that individual students learns best. Naturally, this is difficult to do in large classes. That said, small touches can go a long way.
As time marches on students, teachers, and situations change. This necessitates a shift in techniques. Remote learning most certainly prompted a change. The question is whether any of the techniques that rose to prominence should be kept around.
It is dependent on the students first and foremost. For those who struggle with readjusting to in-person classes, working with others may be a challenge. Group projects and problem-solving can be worthwhile challenges to pose for them.
Above all, the practice of personalizing lessons as possible should have a place in future techniques. Each student will react to these changes differently. They should be encouraged in ways unique to them.
No matter where teaching techniques develop, teachers need to evaluate them with their student’s best interests in mind. Techniques help, but the brunt of the effort is on the shoulders of teachers.