Teachers Unite To Engage Students Digitally


Ms. Alfaro is projecting her screen to her students online.

Due to the pandemic, most educators are required to teach at least partially online and have to learn new ways to engage students. Many teachers are teaching online for the first time. According to the University of Minnesota, “…the transition to online teaching is difficult.” 

Many educators are new to online teaching. So, if they need assistance with new technology or are trying to increase engagement, they go to each other for help. Ms. Cory Alfaro, an Oak Spanish teacher, mentions “It’s so new, that I’m looking up to all of the teachers. We are kind of just collaborating together…and everybody is trying new things…we have been learning as we’ve been going.” 

Even teachers’ students help them out. Ms. Alfaro compliments her students stating, “…everybody is so patient and understanding and I think that’s part of what’s helpful.” Ms. Alfaro loves her students and thanks them for being so understanding about these new adjustments.

School teachers must balance many different platforms to teach online. Many are using Google Classroom and Google Meet for live video interactions with students. This is difficult for teachers to go from teaching students in a classroom to seeing faces in one square and on flat-screen. 

Teachers continue to learn about new platforms and new technologies. Beyond Google, Educators are also using other tools as well: Breakout rooms, Kahoot, Quizizz, whiteboards, Quizlet, and Pear Deck. These are used to increase student participation while at a distance. Many students prefer Pear Deck because it works so well and is interactive. 

Ms. Alfaro and as well as other teachers are willing to try new things and don’t give up when there are challenging obstacles. Oak educators are still learning as they are going and try everything they can to make technology work.

Although many parents, teachers, and students struggle with online learning and teaching, it has some benefits. According to NBC News, “technology integrations has the benefits…increase student engagement…increase student collaboration…increased confidence in students and increased technology skills.” Technology is definitely going to be a significant part of our lives in the future as we evolve. 

Although educators had little time to prepare for this extensive shift, they still are able to try new things and still love what they do. Although the pandemic is stopping us from not always seeing each other face to face, it does not stop educators from teaching and engaging students.