How to keep students’ attention during an online lesson

The shift to distance learning is moving away from the traditional classroom system and opening up new opportunities for teachers. At the same time, online teaching causes many difficulties for teachers. One of the important questions is how to keep the attention of children during distance learning and what to do if the child is often distracted?

1. Teach children to use distance learning tools

If children do not understand how the webinar platform or task application works, they will often be distracted by technical problems: finding the right button, turning on the microphone. After that, it will be difficult for them to return to the content of the lesson.

Tell your students ahead of time how to work with your chosen platform and use the applications they want. If possible, set aside a separate lesson for this – the children will calmly practice, and you will not worry about the content.

2. Remove distractions

Make sure that the attention of students is not distracted. It is good if you teach on a white, solid, or blurred background so that the children do not try to see the details behind your back.

Ask the parents to organize the child’s workplace so that there are no unnecessary items on the desk. Establish a rule – during online classes, all social networks, instant messengers and browser tabs that are not related to studies should be closed.

3. Comment on your actions

Speak all your actions that the students cannot see. For example: “Now I’m switching slides”, “Wait a minute, I’m solving audio problems”, “I couldn’t turn on screen sharing, now I’ll try to figure it out.” This will help keep the attention of the children.

4. Tell us about what will happen in the lesson

Announce the topic of the lesson. Tell us what learning goals you want to achieve, how long the session will last, and what the assignments will be. For example: “I will tell a new topic for 10 minutes, then we will watch a video, then you will do a small task in your notebooks, and at the end, we will solve an online task together with automatic verification.” In this way, you help form expectations for the session and distribute strength.

5. Remember feedback

Summarize subtotals more often. Discuss the results of the group, highlight the successes of specific students. At the end of each lesson, summarize what you planned to accomplish.

Lesson feedback helps to maintain focus and motivation, and debriefing structures the work. This is especially important during distance learning. With the help of feedback, you compensate for the absence of such a factor in the external organization of the educational process as calls and changes.


6. Attract involuntary attention

Involuntary, or passive, attention is attention caused by external reasons, which does not require special efforts on the part of the child. The involuntary attention of students can be attracted, for example, with the help of contrasts. Use body language, make your speech more emotional and change the tempo and volume of your speech.

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