Video conferencing brings high-quality education to the doorstep of students who may be physically isolated due to medical reasons. Or students living in a remote area with no access to a nearby school.
This year in 2020 with the coronavirus we are being forced to use video conferencing. Zoom is being heavily used by teachers worldwide. If you haven’t started using it yet bite the bullet and get started.
There is an Educating Guide on Zoom for first time users. I highly advise you try it out several times before you use it with your class. Schedule your class in the Zoom application for your desired date/time and copy the invitation details to send to your students. Students do not need to register for an account to join. They just need the link. Join your class a few minutes beforehand then follow the tips below for video conferencing.
Use the first video conferencing session, to introduce your students to Zoom. Check everyone can connect their audio and video. Get students to do some fun short read alouds of crazy jokes or a rhyme. So they’re learning at the same time as checking. Those waiting can create them and illustrate their one liner jokes or rhymes. Then share with the class when it comes to their time to check audio & video. All students get to help each other too.
Don’t forget to go over remote teaching classroom rules so students engage with you and each other in a right way. It’s a good idea to share a plan for the class on a class blog or google classroom so you don’t waste time explaining what’s happening during each video conferencing check-in time. You can easily pre-record on video what you want your students to do and load it to the class blog or google classroom.
If our students have become bored with the traditional lecture method of teaching, taking them on a virtual trip using video conferencing allows them to visit museums, zoos, and other historic monuments. They will find it more interesting to learn and understand about new things and places in this way. Engagement, as we know, plays a large factor in learning.
Students must have collaborated with other students before, perhaps in our own school or with students in other schools nearby. Video conferencing, however, makes it possible for our students to collaborate with students of any school across the length and breadth of the country, even the world. This kind of collaboration would have been impossible without technology.
Sessions of classroom teaching can be recorded and replayed by our students who are unable to attend school or online classes on occasions. This is an example of taking our classroom to our students who miss one or more classes because of personal or medical reasons.
In many cases, parents of a few of our students are unable to attend important parent-teacher meetings. As teachers, we need to discuss important matters regarding some of our students. Video conferencing, therefore, bridges the gap and allows us to more easily interact with these parents without even leaving our classroom. We can keep parents informed about the progress of their kids no matter where they are. Also ‘leveraging video conferencing technologies specialists and subject matter experts can be brought into the classroom to enhance classroom learning‘.
It is always a prudent idea to use technology to gain experience rather than thinking about its pros and cons all the time.