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Distance Learning

Classroom Management while Online

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Claire Avery Claire Avery 5035 Points

Hello, my name is Claire Avery. I am a senior at Henderson State University, and I am an Elementary Education (K-6) major. I will student-teach next semester (spring 2022) and hopefully begin my first year of teaching in the fall of 2022. Since learning environments are still hybrid in many locations, I'm curious to learn some classroom management techniques for online learning. Specifically, how can I monitor that students are engaged and on-task? 

Abrianna Moore Abrianna Moore 635 Points

Hello Claire, I am also an Elementary Education major at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Although I have not had much experience in teaching remotely, I would love to share how I would tackle this issue. I would make sure that you are doing frequent check for understanding prompts to make sure that your students are following along and understanding what is asked of them. You could do this by having them use the reaction tools on zoom: "If you understand what I am asking, give me a thumbs up." This is a simple, yet effective, way to make sure students are listening to you. Of course, if they are not paying attention they will not hear your instruction, and in turn, not complete the simple task. Secondly, I think you should try and make the lesson as engaging as possible from a distance. One way to do this is to teach with an inquiry based approach. The students will instinctiely be more motivated to learn if they are in charge of where the class is going. Have several follow up questions and prompts to keep the kids investigating the problem and on their toes.

I hope this helps.

All the best,


Hayleigh Lezette Hayleigh Lezette 628 Points

Hi Claire! My name is Hayleigh and I am a junior at Monmouth University. I am an Elementary Education major as well with a concentration in english. Although I dont have much experience with online teaching, somethings I would do when it comes to classroom management is really focus on your transitions from lesson to lesson. In person transitions are already a time for students to get distracted so I can only imagine how easy it is online. So if your transitions are planned out and you are well prepared it will most definitly make your life easier. Another thing is taking advantage of tools like the thumbs up emoji to see if students are untrack and asking students to share there screen so you can see there understanding and that they are untrack. You could even do break out rooms where you can meet with different groups or one on one so you account for every student! Hope all works out!!

Miya York Miya York 20 Points

I think the main thing is to find common ground with the students, after all, we were all students at one time or another. Perhaps remember your student years, try to remember what it was that kept your attention in lectures and seminars.

Ambriel Jacobs Ambriel Jacobs 1530 Points

Hello Claire! 

I am also an elementary education major at Wartburg College. During one of my field experiences last year, the classroom teacher used an app called Seesaw. On the app she was able to see which of her students were on the class page, what times they were and were not working, their progress, and more. While not exactly a classroom management technique, apps such as Seesaw are a great way to monitor that students are engaged and on-task when working virtually. Technology is great for keeping tabs on your students. 

This said, I am left wondering what other apps schools have been using during COVID to keep their students on-task during class time. Are there other apps similar to Seesaw out there?

Ambriel Jacobs 


I am an elementary education major as well. I am currently working with a third grade digital class. Monitoring them independently has its challenges because in our class there are 41 students. Due to the sizes of the classes the county has created the position of a long-term sub to assist the classroom teacher. That is my role. In my role I monitor the students on zoom while the lead teacher is teaching, I answer questions in the zoom chat box, and monitor the assignments being turned in as we go through the day.

Our county uses EClass as its digital classroom platform and it allows us to see when, how long, and how many times a student has logged in. I have also heard of teachers using the application called Class Dojo and it also helps with communication to parents. I think depending on the class size and the age of the students makes a big impact on being able to monitor and get the kids engagement. It is also important to remember to control what you can control and not to get frustrated with the distance. It is hard not to get upset when we have the same kids not logging in and falling behind, and as a teacher I get sad and frustrated with my inability to connect with those students. Having great communication with parents early on is key. I would also say having a regular schedule that stays consistent is very important as well. 


Sorry that might be more than you were looking for. Going in I thought my role would just be monitoring the students and I have learned it is so much more than that.

Kali Kells Kali Kells 20 Points


I am a fourth-grade teacher. This year we are back in person, but I spent the entire last school year teaching virtually. For me monitoring students and keeping them on task started with keeping them engaged. When kids are in our classroom we have total control of their learning environment their only distraction is typically other students. When our students are learning from home their list of possible distractions is endless. I combated that by mandating that each child had to have a quiet learning space in their home where they did their learning every day. For some kids, this was just sitting at the kitchen table for others they cleaned out a corner in their playroom or living room. I even had a few setup shop in the closet of their bedrooms. It didn't matter where they were as long as they had a spot to sit that wasn't curled up in bed or on the couch. After ensuring everyone had a space to learn we set our schedule and routine. 

I began the school year with 48 kiddos in my virtual classroom. First, I split my kiddos into two groups so my actual live sessions were smaller. My day was basically split into two parts. One group would be asynchronous while the other was in a Google Meet class with me.  We had the same schedule starting the first week of school until the end of school. I made sure that their schedule was posted EVERYWHERE. I sent a digital and physical copy of their schedule to their parents and scheduled reminders to go out via Remind the first few weeks. I made sure all my students and all my parents knew when their kids were supposed to be online and when they were supposed to be doing work. This helped ensure that all of my kids were actually online when they needed to be making it easier to monitor them. 

The next thing I did was increase my formative assessments. Every assignment we did had some sort of exit slip. I traded in my Google Slides for Peardecks, created oodles of Kahoots, and fashioned hundreds of Google Forms. Every time we finished something asynchronous or synchronous we did a formative. All of these tools provided me with instant feedback, this allowed me to know as soon as one part of my lesson was done who was and was not paying attention.

My school also uses a Dyknow, a Chromebook monitoring application, so that I could block any student activity that wasn't their classwork. This was major! If the school doesn't have a program like this DyKnow has a free trial offer you can apply for. 

Patricia Leazier Patricia Leazier 4312 Points

Classroom management for online/distance learning. There is a valuable resource that my school districit is called GoGuardian.  It allows you to monitor student activity on thier school issued computers or chromebooks via your computer.  It allows you to close tabs, shut down their computers, chat with them, and put them in groups.  Its an amazing tool. Here is the link:


Patricia Leazier Patricia Leazier 4312 Points

Classroom management as it applies to online/distance learning.  I have attached a link for an article that addresses 10 meaningful ways to improve classroom manages as it pertains to distance learning platforms. Here is the link:  10 Virtual Classroom Management Strategies

Patricia Leazier Patricia Leazier 4312 Points

Online teaching management strategies.  Here is a link to a 2nd article that offers more suggestions of how best to manage your online classroom.  Online Classroom Management: Five Tips for Making the Shift

Patricia Leazier Patricia Leazier 4312 Points

Attached is an Edutopia article on how to manage challenging students. 


Kate Snowden Kate Snowden 30 Points

I also support distance learning. It's a good idea and opportunity to learn for people who works.  

Santa Barbara Santa Barbara 90 Points

I am not good at that.

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