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Bridging the Virtual Gap with Video: How EdOptions Academy Teacher Michaela Kenon Stays on Trend

Bridging the Virtual Gap with Video: How EdOptions Academy Teacher Michaela Kenon Stays on Trend

Teaching in a virtual classroom is a unique experience. With students who aren’t physically present, our EdOptions Academy teachers face some tricky challenges with keeping students engaged, helping them connect with the material, and building relationships that traditional teachers don’t necessarily contend with. But, our amazing group of state-certified and highly qualified EdOptions Academy teachers are up to the challenge. They understand the importance of engaging with students in unique and creative ways, and they take part in special training on teaching in online environments. All of this experience and training helps our teachers develop their own styles, tricks, and instructional approaches to keep students engaged and learning online.

Michaela Kenon, who teaches math, German, and career and technical education (CTE) courses for EdOptions Academy, has gone above and beyond to create her own unique virtual instruction style. She uses videos posted to her Twitter account to reach her students, coming up with creative parodies and even rap songs (at the request of her students) to make online learning approachable, relatable, and most of all, fun. Social media seemed like an obvious choice to Mrs. Kenon when it comes to engaging with her students because they already spend their time there and it’s a great way to utilize a platform that students are comfortable with.

“I used to make little raps during lessons in class when I still worked in the brick-and-mortar environment. My students loved it and were more engaged, so once I started teaching for EdOptions Academy and did lessons in Zoom, I incorporated little raps/songs in lessons to break the ice, and my students thought that it was great.”

Mrs. Kenon created this rap song to motivate her students to keep up the great work, even when they’re feeling the pressure of schoolwork.

She even hopped on the craze of the song “Old Town Road” and created her own parody song about why she loves teaching her studentscomplete with her own set of lyrics!

My ‘Old Town Road’ parody was actually inspired by some of my students who like country music, and I wanted to do something that they would like since I normally just make raps. I am not a big fan of country music, but this song seemed to be a little bit of both (rap and country), so it was perfect.”

These videos have kept Mrs. Kenon’s students excited to log in and work with her in their EdOptions Academy courses. Best of all, the overwhelming positive response from students has helped Mrs. Kenon build and maintain positive connections with her students.

“My videos have helped me make connections with my students. Some students decided to come into Zoom after watching my video ‘just to say hello’ and then started coming regularly. For my ‘Old Town Road’ parody, students helped me practice how to say ‘yee-haw’ and how to speak ‘country’ after we finished our math Zoom lessons. I’ve already been asked when I will make another video, and some students sent me suggestions of songs that I should do next.”

Mrs. Kenon is just one example of how our EdOptions Academy teachers think outside the box to keep their students engaged, motivated, and moving forward to achieve their academic goals—no matter what those goals are. We couldn’t be prouder of the passion, creativity, and dedication all of our virtual teachers put into their work each and every day.

Want to meet a few of our other outstanding EdOptions Academy teachers? Check out these blog posts: