Here are some ways to engage learners during your session, just click on any of the videos to see them in action! You can also click here to schedule a quick brainstorming call to discuss ideas for your particular session.
STRUCTURE YOUR TIME
It typically works well to break down your 30-45 minute session into these 3 parts:
- 2-3 Minutes: Introduce yourself & your work
- 5-15 Minutes: Explore the session topic (here are 30 second examples of a virtual tour, demonstration, topic presentation, guided activity, project evaluation, project mentoring, and Q&A session).
- 10-15 Minutes: Q&A
SPEAK ON STUDENTS’ LEVEL
Be mindful that students' knowledge and vocabularies will vary by age..
- Provide Context/Examples: Share background info, experiences, pop culture references, etc.
- Connect Learning to the Real World: Highlight how classroom learning ties into real careers.
- Simplify Language: Consider students' vocabulary levels and background knowledge
- Keep it Short: Share small chunks of info at a time, and for younger students brevity is best.
- Introduce Your Environment: Share tools, equipment, etc. or even walk around.
- Demonstrate a Process: Let students see step-by-step how you do something.
- Share Your Screen: Show websites, photos, slides, memes, or use the Zoom whiteboard to draw.
EXPLORE DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION TOPICS
- Consider diversity: Think about representation on any slides, etc. you share so that when possible, students see adults representing the diversity they may see in their classrooms.
- Talk About Your Background: Share some ways it may have influenced your trajectory. Has your pathway seemed typical (or not) in its direction?
- Inspire Feelings of Belonging: Use inclusive language and encourage students to utilize their own cultural capital as a tool while pursuing areas of interest and joining/influencing work environments.
- Be Mindful of Accessibility: Since learning needs differ, be mindful of your rate of speech, lighting, visuals, etc. to support all participants’ experiences during the session.
- Reach Out to the Educator(s): Especially if you’ll be speaking with students from a different region of the country, consider messaging the teacher(s) to see if there’s anything to keep in mind when speaking with their class(es).
- Ask Questions: “What do you think of ___?” or “Do you agree or disagree about ____?”
- Poll Participants: “Raise your hand if ___" or "Type 'y' if yes, you think ___."
- Get Input: Ask participants for predictions or ideas as you demonstrate how to do something.
- Put Students to Work: Assign a small, relevant task (e.g. "sketch a ____”).
- Make a Sequence: List the steps of something out of order and have students help sequence correctly.
- Expand Engagement: Be brief when answering questions so more students can participate.
- Turn & Talk: “Turn to a peer and spend a minute discussing ___” and then share out. (If school in-person)
ENGAGE STUDENTS WHILE IN LIVE STREAM MODE
- Mix it Up: - Every 2-5 minutes use a new sound effect, video clip, question/poll, visual, etc.
- Be extra visual: Keep students’ attention with lots to look at - holding up tools, exploring your work environment, sharing screen to do a mini-demo of a task, etc.
- Be Relatable: Help students connect with you by sharing your mindset and photos of yourself from along your career journey.
- Use the Live Q&A Feature: Keep asking questions and discussing responses - yes/no, multiple choice, short answer (depending on ages), etc. Use emojis for responses too!
- Share Your Passion: Students can tell when you’re excited about what you’re sharing and enthusiasm can be contagious!
GET THE TECH RIGHT
These simple but important tech tips will help it be a great connection.
- Check Your Tech: Follow these steps before your session.
- Speak Up: If there are tech issues (e.g. you can’t hear students), stop and let us know.
- Think About Participants’ Experience: Speak loudly and move slowly if walking around.
- Share Your Desktop: If you share your screen, this makes toggling smoother.
- Complete Your Profile: Include a few sentences about yourself and a profile pic here so classes have a little background before your session.
- Mention Salary Ranges: Students are often curious about earnings for different professions, so if applicable offer a general range for the field you're discussing.
- Share Selectively: Avoid sharing anything overtly sales-oriented, and if necessary, make sure you get your HR department's permission to share content with students.
- Steer Away from Some Topics: Unless the session is specifically about religion or politics, it's generally best to avoid them.
- Do not share any contact information on slides, chat or verbally. All communication with students must go through the requesting educator.
- Have fun!!!