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
Show students your world - they may never have seen your type of workspace, snow, etc. before!
- 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.
SPEAK ON STUDENTS’ LEVEL
Be mindful that students' knowledge and vocabularies will vary by factors such as their 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.
EXPLORE DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION TOPICS
Be explicit about what you've experienced and what you hope for in your own world of work.
- 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).
Whether participation is verbal or typed in due to a webinar-mode session, you can still make it a back-and-forth:
- 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
Keep students wanting to learn more, even if you can’t see them during your session (such as an Industry Chat).
- 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!!!