With online teaching currently the norm, teachers are more reliant than ever on technology to deliver their lessons. Whether you’re new to digital learning, or are a confident user of platforms like Zoom, this article presents some practical online teaching hacks to help you to get the most from the available technology and make life easier!
4 online teaching hacks
There are many tips and tricks teachers can experiment with to find out what works best for them and their students. We’ve rounded up our top four online teaching hacks here:
1) Create a clear schedule
Working remotely has an impact on teachers, students and families. With parents and family members juggling home-schooling with work, and teachers having family commitments of their own, it can be difficult to create a routine that suits everyone.
It’s therefore crucial to set out a clear teaching schedule for your class. This should be shared with your students and their families, so everyone knows how to organise their time. Student attendance should be recorded (you can do this online using tools like Google Classroom). It’s also possible to obtain attendance for video sessions directly from MS Team and Zoom. Teachers should ensure that lessons being live-streamed are recorded and shared, so they can be watched by parents or students who were unable to attend the live sessions.
Finally, teachers need to be clear about exactly when they’re available to interact with students and parents, so they don’t feel under pressure to be online at all times.
2) Embracing video calls and promoting student interaction
Before COVID-19, no-one would have foreseen how important video calls would become in keeping us all communicating. As well as offering a way to deliver lessons incorporating a range of resources kids would experience in the classroom (like video, audio and PowerPoints) they’re also a rare opportunity for kids to interact!
Let your students have time to say hello to their classmates at the start of a session. You should also encourage them to discuss topics and share ideas. They could do this using the ‘Chat’ function in Zoom or MS Team, for example. Or you could split them into small groups for more interaction, using tools like ‘Breakout rooms’.
You may need to check class understanding more often as it won’t be as obvious as it is in the classroom. Providing more examples of what you’re teaching is a good way to reinforce understanding. Alternatively, you can ask kids regular questions via ‘Chat’. You might also want to create class quizzes and polls to test them in tools like Google Classroom.
3) Finding extra resources
With the shift to remote learning, teachers may be in a situation where they need to locate reliable additional resources. Depending on the age of the students, websites such as The Smithsonian and Encyclopedia Britannica offer useful free resources on a variety of subjects that teachers can incorporate in their lessons.
4) Using time-saving techniques
You’re likely to need to create a substantial amount of new teaching content to facilitate distance learning. In saying that, you should try to avoid reinventing the wheel each time. Repurpose content where possible, taking the same general lesson format (or template) and adapting it to a different topic.
There are some useful features in tools like Google Classroom and MS Team that will reduce your digital admin time. For example, scheduling tools that allow you to create a series of lessons rather than setting up individual new lessons every time.
Of course, online teaching would be impossible without the IT equipment to support it! Laptops and iPads are now very much an essential part of remote learning and make lessons fun and engaging, regardless of their location. If your school needs to upgrade its IT equipment, we offer a range of iPads and laptops for schools via our flexible leasing agreements.
For more information on how you can upgrade your school’s IT equipment, just call on the experts at Utility Rentals!
iPads for Education from Utility Rentals helps schools, acadamies, colleges and universities across the UK to acquire Apple iPads through affordable and tailor made rental solutions.
Our team of tablet wizards are fully in tune with the requirements of the education sector and will work in partnership with you to make the process of getting and maintaining iPads for your pupils and staff refreshingly straightforward.
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