Gaining students attention in an online environment involves a willingness and ability to use a variety of online tools. One tool is social media. Social media allows students to approach course material in a new and exciting way.
One online resource I consulted to learn about using social media was a blog entry entitled
100 Inspiring Ways to Use Social Media In the Classroom
Click on the title above or here to access the entry and see a very thorough list of suggestions on how to use social media in many different educational environments.
From the list, I focused on the concepts of communication. class projects and preparing for employment. Of course, this fits in with my own learning about online instruction. Below is a brief summary and application to gaining the attention of students.
Communication: Posting assignments, participating in discussion boards and emailing classmates and instructors are part of the requirements of online learning. Using these forms of communication helps gain attention of the students by actively engaging them with course material and classmates.
Class Projects: Creating a class blog (!) or Wiki helps students collaborate and focus on a topic. Students are learning the technology tools in addition to applying content. These types of assignments gain the attention of students by allowing them to create and access new material.
Employment: Understanding the importance of social networking helps with both finding a job and establishing a positive online personal presence. Providing students with online opportunities to practice these skills will help employed students. Motivating students with important skills for their future help gain and keep attention throughout a course. Make it relevant!