As Covid-19 interrupts the norms of learning at school, social interaction becomes a need unfulfilled for many students. In any learning environment social interaction is a vital element in students’ development. We will try here to answer few key questions and share some important ideas.
Why Social Interaction is important?
Social interaction has proven to be effective in helping students grow, empathize and learn better. As students share their thoughts they can reflect on their own understanding and find gaps in their knowledge and reasoning.
How can we achieve Social interaction in an online setting?
There are many ways that can be used to encourage and maintain social interactions. Teachers can use a variety of methods that include: discussions boards, live sessions, group work, instant messages, Video/audio feedback, and chat logs.
What is the role of Teachers in online social interaction?
Teachers here play an important role in guiding and kick-starting the discussions. They are tasked to find the topics that can engage their students and connect their discussions to learn life. They also need to encourage shy students to participate and voice their opinions. They need to oversee the communication cycle and maintain positive environment for students to express themselves.
How can we balance online social interaction with physical and psychological health?
The worry of students spending long times behind screen is a nightmare for parents. Teachers and parents can help each other by creating new experiences that support the learning off-screen. There are many ideas that are being done all over the world. Ideas like hands-on assignments, projects with parents and daily life researches, to name a few.
Schools are the ideal place for students to learn and grow, but as we face new challenges we need to adapt to innovative ways. The online learning experience must strike a balancing act between keeping the social interaction and minimizing the risks of long screen time. Our focus must be creating quality time for our students to learn, interact and hone their skills through experiences.
Author: Lutfallah Bachimam - Content Development Supervisor at The Alchemist Lab