With the coronavirus pandemic in full swing and schools limiting attendance to protect our children and essential workers, online education has become the new normal.
Teachers and Parents are entering new territory and are having to navigate new ways to teach and care for their kids and themselves.
Here we have some tips for teachers and parents on how to utilise video technology to assist with teaching, creating a sense of community and making sure we all stay connected.
Tips for teachers
As we enter a new age of online learning, it can be difficult to know what works and what doesn’t.
Teaching online is a completely different skill-set to that of the classroom.
It can be quite hard to navigate online learning at the best of time, despite the current circumstances.
Here are some ideas to use video as a means of staying connected to your class.
Create your own video Humans cannot connect or build a relationship with a blank screen.
Having a video connection allows you to see each other, observe important body language and to also use visual aids in your lessons.
If you don’t want a video of yourself, you can screen share a presentation, and guide your class through the material.
Embrace the interactive
Interactive learning activities are key learning tools.
Having children and teens engage with each other and their work helps content stick.
Also consider hosting virtual group work, where students can group up on google docs, slides, or sheets to complete different tasks.
This can boost feelings of collaboration and productivity as they will not just be completing solo work.
Progress checks throughout the week Try to email or video chat students individually if you can to check in on their progress.
Some students benefit more from one-on-one help rather than general comments.
Consider reaching out to parents if you are worried the student may be falling behind and offer strategies for them to improve their learning remotely.
Tips for parents
It can be scary letting your children online, and concerns of cyber safety need to be considered as part of this change.
Navigating at-home learning, as well as online learning, can be a big step if you have never done it before.
Teachers, parents and students alike are experiencing this for the first time - so it's important to stay patient and try and use the technology available to help.
Below are some tips on how to use video resources to assist your child while they learn at home.
Trust the teacher Leaving your children online on a video call can be quite daunting.
Luckily, your child’s teacher is trained to handle kids in a wealth of different environments.
Trusting their teaching methods is important to aid your child’s learning.
Try not to undermine the teacher throughout the class, and if you have an issue send a private email.
This will keep the child and the teacher’s relationship intact while still expressing your concerns in a respectful way.
Don’t coddle your child Allow your child to do their work in peace.
The teacher is there on the other side of the screen if they have any theoretical questions.
If they ask or call for you specifically be on hand so that you can help them when THEY need it, not when YOU THINK they need it.
After all, allowing and encouraging your child to experience and learn things on their own is what school is for.
Understand the technology Try to have a play around with the video conferencing app before the class starts.
You can also research how the app works to better understand all the different buttons.
This is a great idea so that “technical difficulties” don’t eat into your child’s class time.
If you are unsure how to use anything, don’t be afraid to email the teacher or the school for support.
All in all, it is a new and difficult time for everyone.
Teachers and parents should aim to work together to seamlessly facilitate their child’s learning.
And remember, we're all doing our best, so be kind to one another.
If you would like further information on this topic feel free to download our 'Online Learning Tips for Teachers and Parents' Module below.