Teachers are Challenged to Prepare Themselves Technologically In Order to Motivate and Retain Digital Students

Hundreds of thousands of homes have been converted into classrooms due to the educational virtuality demanded by the quarantine and social distancing brought about by the Coronavirus health crisis. This has highlighted the strengths of teachers, but also the need to reinforce other skills to impart face-to-face lessons at a distance, in order to achieve motivation, attention, enthusiasm and above all, the real learning process for their students.

As Emilia Gazel, vice-chancellor of Fidélitas University commented, it must be taken into account that this generation of students are permanent users of the different technologies of the digital age, so the internet is part of their DNA and we have this fact very clear. They move like a fish in the water with the different cyber platforms and they expect this from their professors, which is why, schools and universities have been reinforcing those skills in our teaching community so that they take advantage of all the opportunities that technology offers us for the best outcome with our students.

“Capturing the student’s attention for several hours is not easy,” said Alejandra Rojas, professor of Law at Fidélitas University, who added that “she loves teaching”, and assures that since she opens the video to start the class, she tries to be very enthusiastic and transmits to her students everything they are going to be able to do in their profession. And she is very clear that you learn best by doing, so instead of dictating a lot of theory, and showing the typical slides, rather puts knowledge into practice, for example using real cases taken from the day`s news.

So they learn to do in class, “real-world” cases in all its phases, as part of this, they also simulate virtual role assigning situations and do a collective analysis at the end.

On the other hand, this professor creates and edits her own videos for the classes through the renderforest.com platform, available on the internet, with which she transmits key concepts, procedures and processes of the specific subjects, making the teaching experience more experiential, avoiding monotony, and also complementing the theme leaving some homework, holding forums, recommending readings that they then comment on the class, making all the learning process more enjoyable.

The Web is full of applications and platforms that allow the generation of audio visual and graphic material to make virtual classes more friendly, explained Laura Saborío and Wilberth Molina, professors of Computer Systems. Some of them are:

  • Padlet: Digital whiteboard. The free version has a limitation on the number of whiteboards.
  • Jamboard: Google’s whiteboard, very good, versatile, free and you can work collaboratively.
  • Animoto: A software to build videos, you can make tutorials and other types of videos, the free version includes a watermark, but does not affect the result.
  • Kahoot: You can take short evaluations, but it is interactive and stimulating for students.
  • Great.ly: It is a tool to create visual content with which users can interact: infographics, presentations, maps, etc.
  • Educaplay:  Platform to create very varied interactive activities: crossword puzzles, riddles, word roulette, word search, quizzes, etc.
  • PearDeck: it generates loyalty with the students, since the presentations are viewed directly on the device, it is advanced according to the teacher and allows interactive questions to be asked, also summaries as part of the class.
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