As we walk together through the challenges presented by a global pandemic, we are learning a lot about unique ways to live, communicate, learn, educate, and more. While “social distancing” is being practiced and we’re avoiding group gatherings, the ways we do school, homeschool, and co-ops, are changing for many. While some of these changes are temporary, it is providing many people with the opportunity to try new things with their child’s education, including taking some of their schooling online. The Mr. D Live Team has been “going virtual” for a long time and sharing a digital classroom around the world has been a cornerstone of our educational programs.
With my experience in public, private, homeschool, and online education, I have learned a lot about what makes a helpful, engaging, and fun learning environment for students. If you’re new to homeschooling, or looking for new ways to help educate your child, you may be wondering if online learning will work for your family. So I wanted to take a moment to share with you a few thoughts about my experience with a “virtual classroom” so that you can decide if online education is the right fit for your student.
When looking at online classes and curriculums you should consider the following 3 factors:
1. Find a course that is personal.
It’s important to make sure you find a live class that allows your students to feel seen, safe, and supported. Will the students be seen on video? If so, is it required or optional? I like when students have their video on but understand if that does not work for them. Are they encouraged to participate, speaking and/or chatting with the class? Can they chat with the teacher privately when they have a question? I’ve found in my virtual classrooms that the best environment is created when students realize that they’re not alone. So many other students are out there with questions just like them. In an online environment, students often feel more safe to ask questions than they do in person! We see it all the time, that the students feel confident to ask questions and ask for help. In our classrooms, we make sure that we know the students by name and are present to their needs and growth. As you assess different programs, be sure to make sure you find a class that values personal interaction. It will make a world of difference for your child’s learning experience.
2. Find a course that is interactive.
The most important thing about your learning environment is that it’s fun and engaging for the participants. Make sure the courses you’re looking at are interactive. In Mr. D Live classes, students are literally participating in the class. When you’re participating it’s always more fun than listening to a lecture. Find courses that engage visual, auditory, and participatory learners. Sitting and listening for an hour doesn’t facilitate learning as well as sharing, engaging, and doing the work with the whole class. Another way you can assess how interactive a curriculum may be is to look at the philosophy on how they make the subject practical for students. People often ask me “How do you show students the ways that math shows up in the real world?” This question is funny to me. We LIVE in the real world, not a pretend world. It’s critical for Mr. D Live teachers to show students how to apply the concepts we learn in math class outside of the classroom! Ask how interactive is the class? How often are students required to participate? When looking at other curriculums make sure you’re finding a course that requires the active engagement of your student both in and outside of class.
3. Find a course that is challenging AND supportive.
Every curriculum and course has a different pace and structure. You will want to monitor the difficulty level, how engaged your student is, and how supported they feel. In every group class dynamic, you’ll meet students with varying levels of aptitude in different parts of the course. It’s important to teach in a way where everyone gets to participate, gets what they need, and are truly learning and understanding. What does it look like outside of the classroom? Do they have support, help, tutoring, email access (what is their support response time)? How available is the staff?
Our curriculum and courses are complete with extra help sessions where students can work with a teacher live and online. We also have a very fast email support response time. We try to answer student questions within 4 hours or less. While that is not always possible, that is always the goal. It’s been a vital part of our programs to offer the fastest support necessary for students to thrive.
Virtual classrooms can empower you with
the freedom and stability
that will help your students prosper.
As you prepare your summer and fall educational plans, virtual classrooms can empower you with the freedom and stability that will help your students prosper. Find a course that is personal, interactive, challenging and supportive and your student is sure to adapt well to the new era of “schooling.” If you’re curious to learn more about our math and other subject courses, please look through what we offer or reach out with questions! I deeply believe in the powerful opportunities we have to reach students through online teaching and am thrilled by the opportunity to spend time with them every week.
MORE ABOUT MR. D LIVE COURSES AND CURRICULUM
The Mr. D Live Team will come alongside the parents and students and provide an interactive online-classroom experience that will bring ease and understanding to everyone. By teaching concepts in a clear and engaging way to students of all learning styles and giving support to any struggling student, we provide an unpatched program that will equip your student for college-level work and life beyond!
Students in a live class session can practice and answer questions with a Mr. D Math teacher during the classes. Students love the interaction and they also like knowing what assignments are due each week.
Students (and parents) have a built-in teaching partner through our unique set up and hands-on interaction. We provide support for all your needs and are always accessible to answer any questions along the way. Using simple technology, we provide an online video format that allows students and parents to review lessons at home as well as in the classroom but will continue to use examples and solutions that are handwritten, and the students watch the Mr. D’s hand doing the writing! Research shows that this increases comprehension and retention. The program caters to multiple “learning styles” to communicate effectively with tactile, imaginative, and logical learners so that no one is lost or left behind. We provide a comprehensive solution manual that shows each and every answer worked out step by step and students score their own coursework and exams, to further deepen the learning process.
That last point is especially important. Have you ever noticed that when you give a student back a test or assignment, they will first look at their grade, then see which ones were wrong, then put it away? What tends to not happen is a student going back to see how to correct a mistake or what step was left out or missed. In this program, as students complete assigned lessons or tests for the week, they will check their own work with the solution manual. They also have access to the Mr. D Math staff via help sessions and email if questions rack their brains.
“I like how Mr. D gets to know each of his students by name and will talk directly to you when we are in our online class with him. His teaching is very understandable and if you do not “get it” he will talk to you and explain it again just for you. And, if you are needing additional assistance, he has live extra help sessions. The homework load is easily manageable and if you need help with a particular problem, he has an extra help video right below the course work. Mr. D math is the best math I have ever done!” —Logan G, Dallas TX