Online learning can be challenging and fulfilling all at the same time and its quality relies heavily on how the online class is designed and on how equipped the online educator is. Now let’s consider the technical classroom set-up in an ideal scenario.
The Ideal Scenario
There will be an interactive whiteboard to share where all students can clearly show important notes in the lectures. An AI fully rotatable high-resolution camera would be used to record classes capturing any angle in the room and tracking the teacher’s body movements. All students would also have their own computers and tablets to use. Microphones and noise-cancelling speakers are mounted to the ceiling and there would be an additional wide screen mounted on the wall showing all the attendees in the class.
Unless your organization invested heavily in its tech and equipment, it could be unlikely that you will experience the ideal scenario. In reality, educators struggle to find and choose the right camera specially designed for hybrid teaching. It is more likely that your set-up would include at least one laptop for the professor, a webcam, a speaker, and one large screen for attendees.
Top 10 Practical Tips for Online Learning for Educators
While there may be challenges in reaching the gap between these two scenarios, it is still possible to have great and productive lessons in hybrid learning. Here are the top 10 valuable tips for online learning for educators.
Make the right investment in the camera designed for hybrid learning and online teaching
It is virtually impossible to conduct good hybrid classes without the right tool and a class cam is one of the most vital factors that affects the overall experience. Consider choosing a camera with UHD resolution and AI tracking functions. A UHD resolution camera allows online students to see teachers’ facial expression, body language and especially notes on the whiteboard clearly, which will greatly help to concentrate themselves and improve their study efficiency. The view will make sure to focus on the educator no matter where he is standing with the AI body tracking technology.
Nexvoo’s CC520 classcam, which is specially designed for online teaching and hybrid learning, is a high-definition auto-tracking and framing video conferencing camera that has all the considerations above. Its 4k UHD video guarantees students afar to experience a clear view of class. With AI body tracking technology, CC520 will recognize and track teachers movement across a field of view. It gives operators the ability to track an individual and even customize frame settings to capture entire white board spaces. Two unique zones can also be created,within a scene, such as a whiteboard area or a platform. When a teacher moves within these zones, the camera will stay fixed on them, so online learners do not miss any important information. All these features plus its great compatibility make CC520 your best bet.
Make sure students can see and hear.
No matter how prepared you are as a teacher, it will not be of any help if your students can’t see or hear you. Before starting a lecture, position microphones and devices in the classroom and make an effort to know these devices well. Take time to master your platforms beforehand so you can swiftly troubleshoot when needed. Regularly check in with your students if they can hear and see you. The communication between you and your students before and during the class is so important . And the interactions with your students are just as vital as the content you teach.
Use the eBook version of your coursebook with screen share
It is not uncommon when students have left their books elsewhere. So using the eBook version of your coursebook is a handy solution that aids your students in following you. Students will also appreciate a separate online platform that usually comes with most current coursebooks, making it easier for them to revisit lessons and re-listen to audios.
Don’t leave students unsupervised for a long time
Like in the case of face-to-face lessons, leaving students unsupervised for a long time is not a good idea. Keep your students engaged, give them dynamic tasks, and have more open class discussions. The idea is not only to present the lessons that you prepared, but also to not lose their focus as you teach.
Ask students to lead discussions
One of the ways to keep your students engaged is to ask them to lead discussions so often. Students will likely read the lessons in advance if you allow them to drive the class from time to time. You can also opt to have a fixed regular schedule, say once a week, and rotate the student who will lead.
Keep close connections with parents
One incredible way to keep in touch with parents is to show them what and how their children are doing. It is typical that parents want the best education for their kids. Keep close connection with them, both individually and as a whole. Give them peace of mind that you can provide them with the quality education that they expect from you.
Use asynchronous learning to maximize synchronous learning
Use asynchronous learning and let your students view instructional materials regularly at any time they choose so they can absorb content and complete activities, keeping them ready for more interactive synchronous classes. And of course, there’s so much flexibility in utilizing asynchronous learning too.
Prioritize interaction and engagement
When it comes to organic interactions, online learning can be a lot less forgiving and students can become disengaged if the teachers are not careful. Foster engagement and make interaction a priority. Allow your students to be heard sometimes and offer support in keeping their interest. You can also let them share their screens when needed.
Share a daily plan as class begins.
Take advantage of other online platform features such as a chat tool or the screen share and use them to provide an explicit overview of your plan, managing the expectation of your attendees. You can also use some relevant images or basic visuals and drop them into the chat as other simultaneous activities are going on.
Don’t Replicate the Classroom — Reinvent It with a Technology Focus
Online educators tend to spend so much energy and time trying to replicate the classroom but somehow limit its potential. In today’s world, technology such as video conferencing tools are not just created to replace what we already have, but they are also designed to make our lives better. Reinvent your online class with a technology focus approach and maximize its benefits.
With that being said, try implementing the tips suggested above, you can start to morph into a better educator for your online students. It may take some time and effort to reach the ideal scenario that every student deserves, but we can effectively close its gap with the aid of video conferencing technologies.