Why is interaction important in the classroom? The classroom is the heartbeat of a school, regardless of if that classroom is in person or virtual. There are significant benefits of interactive learning in the classroom that go beyond academics. Students who are actively engaged in class make friends, learn how to be inclusive, and develop soft skills that will help them in their future career, including leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork. Those interactions also help students develop connections with friends, teachers, and the school itself.
For kids in brick-and-mortar schools, examples of social interaction in the classroom may seem obvious. Students in modern classrooms sit at group tables where they can talk with their peers. Teachers have students break into small groups for collaborative work. Teachers call on students and ask for feedback. Teachers may assign team projects for students to complete outside of class. Students settle into a daily routine and understand how the teacher runs the class, which is good for their mental health. Knowing what to expect—and what is expected of them—helps them organize their thoughts.
All of those examples of social interaction in the classroom also happen in virtual school! Students at Connections Academy attend live classes where teachers deliver lessons. Students are surrounded by their peers in a virtual classroom environment. They have break-out sessions, connect with each other in the chat, and engage in interactive learning with their classmates. They get to know how their teachers run the virtual class and can plan their daily schedule around live classes.