Now that most of us have been teaching virtually for several months and are comfortable with the platforms we are teaching on, I thought I would share some tips that I’ve incorporated about how to teach entrepreneurship virtually and still keep it fun and engaging.
- Encourage kids to use video! A lot of kids are getting online fatigue and so I get it, but it is so much more fun and engaging when you can see them (and they can see each other)! The trick is to incorporate activities that require participation and feedback. Some ideas include using the students as a focus group to give feedback on such things as business name, tag line, or logo. Other activities that encourage seeing each other when you teach entrepreneurship virtually are the name game and the Biz Ops Game. CLICK HERE to view my online teaching tips webinar replay for more information and ideas.
- Incorporate Polls when you teach entrepreneurship virtually. Polling can not only engage the students, but it can give you an idea of what they know and what content you may need to do more teaching on. Zoom and many of the online video conferencing software options include polling options that are very easy but not necessarily the most engaging for kids. Mentimeter is one of my favorites. It has many options for different types of polling including word clouds and competitions. It is easy to set up and use and you can include these options with the free version.
Polls are a great way to build engagement when you teach entrepreneurship virtually AND they help you as a teacher know what you need to focus on!
- Call students by name. Using the student’s name is especially important when you teach students virtually. Sometimes the student may be using their parent’s computer so they may not have their own name showing. This can be confusing for you when teaching and for the other students. Show them how to change their name in the software you are using. A fun way to use when you teach entrepreneurship virtually is to have students display both their name and business idea.
- Use Wheel of Names. A really fun website to use when calling on students to answer questions is Wheel of Names.com. This fun website is free and allows you to load your students’ names on the wheel ahead of time. Then when you want to call on a student, share the screen and spin the wheel. Its sound effects and applause when it picks a name makes it fun for students too. You can even erase a name once the student has been picked so it doesn’t choose them again. This also works well when the students have to give a presentation. The best part is this website is free!
Change the screen up to give the students something unexpected and so they become curious and more engaged.
- Put yourself in the slides. The same old screens and share screens gets old when you teach entrepreneurship virtually. There are several options to make the screen more interesting by incorporating both you and the slides in the same screen. The one I’ve used the most is OBS Studio and the students really like it. For Mac’s there is ECamm Live. Prezi also has options for this and now the new version of Zoom allows you to use your slides as a virtual background. There are many how to videos on You Tube for each of these options but if you would like me to send you the ones I like best, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Create a Lightboard. I recently participated in a zoom call where the presenter used a lightboard and I was mesmerized. It reminded me of something high tech that you would see on CSI or other television show. When I learned that the presenter made her own, I thought to myself I have to make one. I knew it was another great option to teach entrepreneurship virtually and definitely still keep it fun. Click here for this great video I found on YouTube on how to make a lightboard that is both portable and affordable.
Movement gets the blood and brain going and help kids stay focused on learning.
- Add Movement and Interactivity. When you teach entrepreneurship in-person, there is a lot of movement and experiential learning included. So the challenge is to include movement and experiential learning when you teach entrepreneurship virtually. You can do simple things such as add a short Simon Says break or other movement break. You can also do things such as using annotate onto a slide you created that allows interactivity. Check out my YouTube video for additional ideas to add movement and interactivity.
I hope you find these tips helpful when you teach entrepreneurship virtually (or any subject for that matter) and still keep it fun! Below are links to two of my latest blog posts that include additional ideas and tips to help you teach entrepreneurship virtually. https://eseedling.com/the-top-10-things-i-learned-from-teaching-a-virtual-youth-entrepreneur-camp-live-via-zoom/ and https://eseedling.com/are-you-ready-for-teaching-entrepreneurship-this-fall/
Julie Ann Wood is the Chief Cultivator at E-seedling, the Author of More Than a Lemonade Stand. She recently gave a TEDx talk on Youth Entrepreneurship. As part of running E-seedling, she helps organizations, teacher and parents implement entrepreneurship as a tool for youth empowerment. To learn more about Julie and the E-seedling youth entrepreneurship curriculum visit eseedling.com