Virtual classrooms have become more common than ever. That said, it’s not rare for teachers to make simple mistakes during their first attempt at virtual teaching, no matter how many years of experience they have in the role. Below, you can find helpful tips for teaching class virtually. Take advantage of these tips so you can focus more on conducting lessons than struggling to navigate Zoom.
Conquer Your Platform
There’s a bevy of live-streaming platforms teachers can use for virtual lessons, with Zoom being one of the most popular as of late. Aside from using a reliable, secure streaming platform, teachers must familiarize themselves with the software before the first day of class. Not only is fumbling through settings and options in the middle of a lesson a waste of time, but it also comes off as unprofessional.
Before day one of class, peruse your streaming platform and become privy to every function it has to offer. This can come in handy if you run into technical difficulties. Plus, this knowledge gives you the chance to utilize a platform’s unique features to the benefit of your class, from virtual small groups to text chat options and beyond.
Monitor All Feedback
One of the most useful tips for teaching class virtually is to monitor student feedback. Not only is virtual teaching new to many teachers, but it’s also new to many students. For this reason, adjusting to the virtual classroom is something everyone has to do by supporting each other. Classroom support is nothing new for teachers, but the context here is slightly different.
Possibly the best way to support your students is by giving them a way to provide feedback, which can happen during class via microphone or through your platform’s text chat. In doing so, you can discover where students are struggling to adjust to the virtual learning environment and how you can help.
Use a Teleprompter
A teleprompter isn’t something you often see a teacher using in the classroom, but the virtual classroom makes it more feasible. While a teleprompter might sound useless at first to someone who’s been teaching for years, it proves to be a useful tool when you’re speaking into a camera. Unfortunately, there’s always a learning curve when it comes to live streaming video. If you’re not used to conducting lessons alone in a room, it can be very easy to lose your train of thought, hence why teleprompters remain popular for various professional applications.
With a teleprompter at home, teachers can have all the points they need to cover right in front of them, offering the ability to check their talking points without losing eye contact with the camera. Devices like an iPad teleprompter are easy to set up and provide teachers with a means of maintaining focus and looking professional during class.