When students are unable to attend school in person, educators need to quickly extend learning programs to and from home environments. Check out these 3 tips for teachers adapting to distance learning.
1. Use Video to Engage Students
One of the biggest challenges in remote teaching is creating a connection with students to keep them engaged during the lesson. Video is a great tool to help you create this visual connection. When possible, using a dedicated webcam and headset or microphone will help ensure students can see and hear you clearly.
Whether you choose to do a live video call or a recorded video, it should be easy to access for your students. Video conferencing platforms like Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and Zoom allow students to interact while you present, video, audio and chat.
Try to emulate the classroom as much as possible by limiting distractions. Ensure all non-lesson related applications like email and messaging are closed, and ask students to do the same. Sometimes interruptions do occur during live video; if you are interrupted, move on quickly.
Check out these tips to help you deliver high-quality lessons on video.
2. Have Presentations Or Content Ready To Share
Whenever possible, have your lesson scripted and prepared in advance and try your best to emulate your real classroom environment for a feeling of continuity. For live lessons, give yourself more time than you need to present, to account for questions and interruptions. If you need to use a whiteboard, model, or other physical learning tool, consider setting up a secondary webcam in advance to use as a shared input.
For recorded video lessons, keep it short and to the point. Have any files, recordings or coursework ready to share with the lesson or immediately after to keep the students engaged.
Logitech Capture is a free and easy-to-use software that allows you to record and share lessons. With Capture, you can share personal videos and presentations in the same window. Check out these tips for more help with delivering content to your students.
3. Enable Your Students
Lessons should be easy to join and follow along. Help your students prepare by sharing the lesson invitation and instructions for tools you plan to use well in advance. To prevent delayed start, encourage your students to test tools before the scheduled time.
The right learning environment can make a difference. Encourage your students to eliminate distractions where they can, and to try to find a workspace with room to take notes. Also, ask students to abide by physical classroom rules like no cell phones and no eating over video.
After the lesson, ensure reference materials like lesson recordings and coursework are easy to find and access. Many video tools also allow surveys after lessons, which can be a great way to measure student participation and gain valuable feedback.