Engaging Secondary Virtual Learners


Engaging virtual learners is much more challenging than engaging students in your classroom. In fact, Learning Counsel research gleaned from the 2020 Digital Transition Survey completed in Late October indicates that online engagement is the most arduous challenge faced by teachers in remote and hybrid learning models. Fortunately, the gang from Laramie High School is here to share their tips, tricks and secrets to engaging their students virtually. In this session, we have Mike McManamen, Instructional Facilitator, Lisa Klinker, Teacher, and Marie Frick also a Teacher, all from Laramie High School, part of the Albany County School District #1 in Wyoming. When these three digital experts talk about engagement, you’ll hear a collective “I do” from every member of the Laramie High School student body.

According to Mike McManamen, “We really try to get our online teachers to get as many synchronous opportunities as possible. We found students will engage more with each other and with the content, if we can figure out ways to get them all on together, (asynchronous is where they're working on things on their own at any time). So again, the synchronous, we found very powerful, but coming up with ways to do that, other than just zoom, has been challenging.”

Teacher Lisa Klinker agrees, “So in synchronous setting, every week we have class meetings, practicing what we've been learning through our asynchronous assignments. And based off that, I break them out into breakout rooms and give them some kind of activity to complete. I have one example where we made a consensus model in Jam Board and then another one just dragging and dropping. And then we could talk about the whole carbon cycle and the water cycle. And then another one in physical science, just talking about the information that you can find on a periodic table. I can snippy tool, any worksheet that I really loved in the building and put it on a jam board and have the students’ work together. So, it's recreating the classroom, but digitally. And I use that synchronous time to make sure that we're doing those activities that we would normally do in a classroom.”

This presentation is absolutely chock full of ideas you can use, all proven to drive engagement while online. But make sure you grab a notepad, you’re going to need it.


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