Three Tips Educators Need to Know to Engage Students

Do you ever find yourself talking to a screen of muted students? Are your students bored and disengaged by your lesson? What is the secret to engaging with students online? Join Common Sense Ambassador and Technology Integration Specialist Heather Callihan as she shares insightful ways to keep students engaged. She showcases ways educators can move from reactive online teaching to creating a space of curious learners.

As schools across the country remain closed due to the coronavirus, we’re all doing our best to navigate teaching and learning from home. But let’s be honest: It’s not easy! In this twice-weekly video series from Common Sense, we sit down for short discussions with educators from all over the country to learn how they’re coping with school closures, putting together distance-learning plans, and addressing some of the challenges that come with teaching remotely.

Recorded on 5/15/2020.

Heather Callihan (@hcallihan)
Technology integration specialist, Northwest Public Schools, Nebraska

Jamie Nunez (@planetsenses)
Bay Area regional manager, Common Sense Education

Guest readers: Consider bringing in another person to facilitate learning. Having guest readers is a great way to add variety to your lessons.

Brain breaks: Explore ways you can incorporate mental breaks for your students. Apps like GoNoodle do wonders for sustained online attention.

Learning celebrations/Show-and-tell: This adds variety and keeps the teacher from being the main show. Read this article for more ways on how to set up a show-and-tell online.

General resources and activities for engagement:

Get registration notifications by email each week by signing up for Common Sense Education’s Digital Classroom newsletter:

Are you looking for resources to help during the school closures? We’ve got you. Common Sense has free tips and tools for educators and families to support the transition to at-home learning. Get remote teaching resources, family education materials, and research-backed strategies to ease stress and encourage learning:

For educators:

For families:

Join the conversation in our Facebook group, Common Sense Educators:

See more videos from the series:

Common Sense Education supports K–12 schools with everything educators need to empower the next generation of digital citizens. Our innovative, award-winning Digital Citizenship Curriculum prepares students with lifelong habits and skills, supports teachers with training and recognition, and engages families and communities with helpful tips and tools. ​Schools everywhere rely on our free curriculum, expert advice, and edtech ratings to help kids thrive. Visit us at

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