Online Learning And Teaching
Online education is a normal right now in what everyone is calling uncertain times. Many are making the best of a difficult situation and I hope this document helps you in some way. I use online platforms to deliver a variety of education to various people and students. I have the luxury of using what works best for my audience. The one I use most often is ZOOM.
I started with the free account and moved to the paid account. Moving from the free account to the paid account allowed me to have more options. If you are on a budget, the free account will let you do what you need to do for teaching students online.
The free account allows you to share your screen, let students chat, and video. There is even an option to use the call in line only just like a teleconference line! The paid account has other features like not kicking you off after an hour, break out rooms, separate windows for questions and answers, and separate window for chat.
Engaging your audience is difficult and different from standing in front of students and teaching. The students are not in front of you to read their body language for boredom or lack of understanding. The teacher needs to be even more animated, use props and engage the students in order to keep their interest. Stopping and asking for feedback, answers to questions, or if they have questions are great ways to let the students type in communication or speak.
My suggestions for teachers is to have all students on video for only a little while at the start of the lesson. Video eats away at your bandwidth and you will have frozen images. Having the video on for even a short time lets the students see each other and chat. When you have taken attendance you can disable all video and mute all students. You can always unmute if you want voice responses. If you have a chatty student in the chat window or a troll, you can always disable this feature for them as well. Easy solution to discipline issues.
Sharing your screen for students to see a presentation, video or document is easy and can be interactive. There are many recorded virtual tours and speakers. Below are a few:
- NASA Webinars and Virtual Tours
- List of Museum virtual tours
- Virtual tour of world landmarks
- List of Art Museums
- List of virtual tours landmarks and museums
- Ask a NASA Scientist
- NASA Chat with a Scientist
- NASA Space Place full of activities and videos
Some YouTube resources listed below:
- Khan Academy– all subjects
- NASA YouTube
- Smithsonian YouTube
- Magic School Bus
- PBS kids YouTube
- NOVA YouTube
- Georgia Aquarium
- Smarter Every Day YouTube
There are many YouTube videos that offer tutorials, lessons and field trips that students will enjoy. Create a document students use to fill in answers to questions when viewing online content. This holds the student accountable. You can even have students create a Glogster , PowerPoint or Prezi to display what they learned. Assign each student a topic in a group and they need to create a presentation to teach the class. This engages all students and holds them accountable.
Students can even create videos about content they learned. Students can post their creations in Google Classrooms, Edmodo or any class maintained learning system. Most students have their own YouTube channel, Tick Tock, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Discourage students from using their own platforms to post assignments because you do not know who their friends are and you do not want to be friends with students on social media platforms. Create student pages that are secure.
Many independent consultants are eager and willing to help you with lessons and technology. Use caution and do your homework. There are some consultants that do not charge.
Parents, teachers and students enjoy this adventure and make the best of it. Technology can be fun and different, but just know this is a temporary situation and we will get through it by supporting each other.