How to Use Online Student Engagement Tools Effectively

11 May 2022 | By viviedu

In today’s world, technology has revolutionized the way we absorb information. From consuming news updates or monitoring social media feeds, to you reading this article at this moment, we’re using technology to educate ourselves in one way or another.

While online student engagement tools are necessary for online classroom settings, they are also crucial in physical classrooms. Teachers today can upgrade their classrooms and impart information effectively by engaging students creatively through technology.

So, if you’re thinking about how to incorporate modern technological tricks into the classroom, read through this guide for helpful information on effectively doing that.

What Are Online Student Engagement Tools?

Thanks to the pandemic, everyone involved in the teaching field has encountered online student engagement tools in one way or the other–even the most traditional teachers. While many tools assume a remote, online setting, there are many online tools you can use within a physical classroom.

These tools can help you in various ways while conducting a lesson in a formal classroom setting. For example, they can help by:

Online engagement tools claim to achieve these goals within a classroom, but is it as easy as downloading software? Are there specific numbers regarding increased engagement through technological tools in a classroom? Read through the next section for answers.

Related: Collaborative Technology Tools for Students: A World of Possibilities

Do Online Student Engagement Tools Work?

Online student engagement tools have led to a revolution in the classroom. Today, devices such as interactive whiteboards, personalized iPads, and screencasting gadgets have taken the place of chalkboards and notebooks in various classroom settings across the world.

Apart from that, there is an increase in tech companies interested in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) training for teachers from elementary to higher secondary levels. This professional development is projected to improve student outcomes and increase engagement.

When teacher awareness is combined with interactive learning, technological tools can help enhance student outcomes. In fact, research focused on student engagement, published in 2020, showed the positive effects of digital tools used with 243 students from 2007 to 2016, including increased attention and better student learning outcomes.

But, as each learner is different, each student’s emotional and cognitive quotient regarding technological tools is also different. This means that few uniform conclusions can be derived regarding the subject within this context.

Nevertheless, recent research by the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education showed positive impacts of using online student engagement tools in the classroom. These researchers focused on software-based learning such as digital games, wikis, blogs, and conferencing software, concluding that these tools positively influence student engagement.

More importantly, gamified lessons and quizzes had the most impact on students and showed improvement in students’ cognitive and behavioral aspects. But, with the pandemic leading toward the development of hundreds of online student engagement tools, which ones are the ultimate answer? Is using online student engagement tools enough to fully engage students with the content taught in the classroom?

While technological tools have a positive impact, the teacher’s strategy for incorporating them into their lessons is of utmost importance. If you have ever felt a classroom lesson lacks that ‘oomph’ even after using the latest virtual tools, here are some ways you can incorporate them into your teaching strategy more effectively.

How Can Online Student Engagement Tools Be Used Effectively?

As mentioned above, online student engagement tools can help you achieve various learning goals in your classroom. The possibilities are endless and only limited by the teacher’s imagination, from imparting complex concepts efficiently to boosting your student’s confidence.

And when these tools are paired with the right instructional approach and teaching strategies, you achieve outstanding results. So, here are some ways you can use these tools effectively to benefit your students.

Select the Right Solution for Your Classroom

Let’s face it. Engaging students and getting them to participate in a monotonous math lesson is a colossal task for a teacher. The solution? You go straight to the internet and look for virtual technological tools to help you out of your ordeal and use them during your lesson.

While this solution might work in some cases, there’s a chance you might still miss the mark. That’s because learning is a unique process for every individual. This means that the technological solutions perfect for a particular group of students might not work for your students.

For example, if your current group of students seem to learn better through project work and assignment-based learning, you can use tools like myBrainshark. Using this software, your students can add voiceover to various presentation materials such as word documents, videos, and PowerPoint presentations.

Not only will this help them increase their confidence and communication skills, but it will also promote independent learning and teamwork.

On the other hand, if you struggle with evaluating your student’s understanding after delivering your content, you can use fun tools such as Kahoot! and Factile. Through this software, you can assess your student’s subject knowledge while they have fun, simultaneously.

Besides that, collaboration tools such as Creately can get more students to participate in classroom discussions for teachers who struggle in this area.

As a rule of thumb, you should devise your teaching strategy keeping the needs of your classroom in mind. This way, you’ll get the optimal benefit of the tools you use and increase classroom participation.

That said, most online apps and software tools can be used much more effectively when the teacher combines the intended individual or small group use of a given app with whole-classroom use and discussion. This can be accomplished via screen mirroring.

With the right screen mirroring technology, any connected device can be mirrored to a central display. This allows a streamlined, effortless avenue for sharing work from these tech apps to the entire classroom and collaboratively discussing the work or engaging in a hands-on activity using the shared work.

Design Clear Goals and Objectives

To ensure a successful learning experience for your students, you must create clear goals and objectives. For example, when planning to incorporate a technological tool within your lesson, you should ask yourself, what will you achieve by using it? What do you want your students to take home after the lesson? 

Similarly, you can also use tools that help evaluate your students’ learning experience at the end of your lesson. This way, you’ll be able to see if the strategy worked well in your classroom and if you should consider re-using it for further sessions.

Use Checklists

As an extension of the technique mentioned above, you can effectively use online student engagement tools by providing each student with a tangible checklist. This checklist would include each key point you want them to observe and learn throughout the session.

Especially when using new tools within a conventional classroom setting, this tool can help eliminate confusion among students and help them get to the meat of the matter.

Besides that, students today are used to a barrage of visual stimulation, which significantly shortens their attention span. So, along with giving them clear guidelines to navigate through the session, the checklist will help them concentrate on the matter so that your tool can bring optimal results.

Evaluate Your Strategy

Personal evaluation is critical whether you’re using online student engagement tools within a traditional or online classroom. This will let you know whether the software delivered the desired results.

Once you know what works and what doesn’t, you can easily build a curated collection of tailor-made solutions for your students. This way, you can maximize engagement and reap the utmost benefits from each method.

Related: How to Improve Student Engagement in the Classroom

Keep It Simple and Exciting

When selecting an online student engagement tool for the classroom, it’s important to choose educational tech and tools that are the right fit for you and your classroom. What tools and apps are simple and effective? What do your students tend to respond to the best?

Experimenting is a great idea to keep students interested, but they’ll lose interest fast if the platform is difficult to figure out or use. 

Perhaps more often than experimenting, teachers will focus on educational tech tools that play to their own individual strengths, so they can keep the flow of the class moving and add enthusiasm and excitement to the lesson. 

For example, if you are good at creating visual learning experiences for your students, choose a platform that lets you do that with ease. PosterMyWall is a creative learning space where you can build a lesson around guiding students to collaboratively create art projects and posters.

Students can do this for virtually any subject, using the knowledge they’re learning to create something new and creative. Combining the tool’s efficiency with teaching strengths can increase effectiveness in ed tech tools and highlight noticeable results within a classroom.

As mentioned previously, any app like this can be expanded and made exponentially more adaptive and useful when combined with screen mirroring technology. Students can move from learning, to creating, to presenting–seamlessly.

With the right screen mirroring tech, the teacher can maintain complete control via a main control, with no cords or special transfer or syncing required. The teacher can freely move about the room helping students and sharing screens as desired to fit the lesson.

The teacher can also easily call for students to pause their work in order to show a demonstration or any other material on the main display–again, all from the device they’re holding as they move about the room. 

Ultimately, this will help you leverage online student engagement tools based on the latest research and development.

Use Screen Display Tools Like Screen Mirroring

No matter which online tools you use within your classroom, they likely won’t work well without visual engagement. However, most visual engagement tools in conventional classroom settings require the teacher to become tethered to an HDMI cable at their desk.

Anything not already on the computer, such as work the students are actively performing, must be somehow transferred to the teacher’s computer in order to be displayed. This can be tedious, time-consuming, and rife for technical difficulties.

This also decreases teacher mobility throughout the classroom. From the teacher’s desk, they can’t directly observe and guide how the students are working together, whether their students grasp the concepts, or whether they have any queries regarding the new learning system within the classroom.

That’s why screen mirroring and display tools are of utmost importance when using online engagement tools for students. Wireless screencasting tools can help teachers increase engagement by displaying anything on the connected device to any connected central display.  

Similarly, wireless screen mirroring technology gives the teacher the freedom to move across the classroom to observe students at work. Moreover, to provide increased personalization, teachers can also display virtual content on individual devices so that students can engage with the content being taught in a more focused way that meets their specific needs, without any interruptions.

How To Make The Most Out of Online Engagement Tools

Vivi is a the only screen mirroring platform built for the needs of educational settings. It makes the most of your existing technology and online student engagement tools by integrating with any device and any display, so you don’t need to purchase all new equipment. Vivi just works, which is what every teacher wants in their classroom technology. 

Not only does Vivi “just work,” but it also meets the wide ranging needs of individual students. While giving the teacher complete control of what is shared, it opens up vast possibilities of learning, discovery, comprehension, and collaboration. To see what Vivi can do for your classrooms, book a demo today.