We all had to learn new skills during the pandemic, but teachers are one of those who possibly had it the worst. They had to change their teaching methods completely, learn how to use different technology in creative ways, and somehow try to reach kids who are inattentive in a physical class and are even more so in the digital environment.
So yes, it is okay to feel like you are still struggling two years into the pandemic. We have found 6 easy and quick tips to help you use the software during remote learning better.
#1 Use the Same Link for Meetings
Students have numerous classes a day, and it is difficult to manage different links as it is. However, some teachers also do not have a single link but post a new one every day, so it becomes even more confusing for the students. As a result, they can be late or decide not to show up at all.
If you are using Zoom, you can give a link to your personal conference room, so it stays the same all the time. In order to do that, go on your profile, look at your Personal Meeting ID, click “Edit,” and choose the option to start an instant meeting with it. Copy the link and send it to the students. If you are scheduling a meeting, you can put in a personal ID as well. Just choose this option in a “Meeting ID” section while creating a meeting.
As for Google Meet, you can either choose a recurring conference through the Calendar to reuse the same link or use Google Classroom.
#2 Record Your Sessions
Unfortunately, students tend to skip the classes during the remote learning more than they did back in the good old days of physical attendance. Some kids really struggle with mental health, others may experience sickness or take care of their sick relatives, and some just do not understand the whole online experience. You need to give resources to those who need a pause or just can’t figure out the technology.
The best way to do so is to record your sessions where you explain new material, provide examples, and answer questions. You can use either built-in recorders or use such free screen recording video software as Apowersoft, Screen Capture, or Icecream.
While using in-built screen recording for Mac is easy, you may encounter some problems while doing it on Windows. So here’s the detailed guide on how to record a meeting on Windows 10.
You can also use screen recorders to explain how different software for online learning works so that students and their parents understand how to manage remote learning. You must provide instructions if you want a higher attendance rate, and video tutorials are much better than written ones.
#3 Use Interactive Tools
It is quite difficult to focus during the remote lessons. There are numerous distractions at home like other family members, toys, or computer games. Students also do not have someone to keep them in focus as it happens in the classroom.
One of the best ways to engage students is to use interactive tools. For example, students of all ages like Kahoot, where you can host quizzes about the topic you have just learned. It has a competitive edge to it as well.
Another great tool is Mentimeter: there, you can host questions and answers, gather ideas and associations with students, make small mental checks, gather feedback, etc.
Miro is a great tool for collaboration and group projects. It is a digital whiteboard for brainstorming, keeping links, pictures, information pieces in one place, letting everyone in the group see your progress, creating mind maps, etc.
#4 Learn About Cybersecurity
Unfortunately, the online environment has many threats that happen both during the lesson and outside the class.
In order to create a safe space during the lesson, make sure that you do not let in unknown users, not let everyone share their screens, and do not use online collaboration tools that are not safe.
Outside the class, make sure that students use strong passwords, do not follow any suspicious links, and know what phishing emails look like. Make sure you check the files and links you send to the students as well.
Make sure to explain cyber safety to parents as well so that they can put up content restrictions for younger students or check children’s safety habits as well.
You can also engage students interested in computer science and offer them to make a presentation about cybersecurity. It can be an exciting task for them and an educational presentation for everyone else.
#5 Have Backups
It is not unusual for software to break down. Sometimes the servers get busy and stop working. That is why you need a backup plan for these cases. It saves you and your students from stress and ensures that the class will happen no matter what.
You need backups for communication tools like messengers and for video conferencing. Introduce backup software to your class so that they know where to look for the class or how to contact you when the systems are down. As they say, the best strategy is to assume that everything will break and be ready for that.
#6 Organize Learning Resources
It is easy to lose track of all the useful links, PDFs with homework, assignment dates, presentations, etc. The more information piles up, the worse students manage it. If they could just store copies in their files before, now links are all over the place.
We recommend either using Google Classroom or Google Docs that you can update as you go. The first option is preferred because it sends reminders about assignments. However, a Google Doc will work too if you know how to work with it.
In order to keep information organized, create a headline for each topic. Afterward, add all the resources and homework it has. However, do not just add links – write a small description of what is inside the link so that students can find it later through keywords search.
Look at how the University of Medical Sciences organized their work for more inspiration.
The pandemic did bring many changes into the classroom, but you as a teacher can still save the day. Make sure to make the learning process as easy and fun as possible since many students struggle with the global trauma of isolation. Make access to the lesson easy through reusable links, enliven the lessons through interactive tools, record your sessions, and organize resources for those who cannot organize themselves.
It does involve more work and creativity, but you can drive such great results from experience!
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