There is a 360˚shift in teaching paradigm from traditional classes to online classes. It is quite challenging, to keep the spirit of your students up right from preserving student attendance to bringing lessons to life in the virtual classroom. But hats off to the teachers and students around the world for having shown extraordinary resilience during this difficult time from e-learning innovations to keeping students’ spirits high with fun-filled activities.
In this time knowing the technology well is the need of the hour. It is a daunting task to keep pace with constant new developments as there is an infinite amount of information available online. In these challenging times, tools, resources, and tips are plentiful, but how do we find ones that really work? Not to mention, of course, that our learners are more advanced than we are when it comes to digital skills!
To help you navigate this exciting world, we’ve some Tips on Technologyto guides you into becoming more digitally proficient
1. Online resources for your professional development
Today, the digital world gives us access to a lot of resources. These resources fall into categories of Webinar (Online seminars with a lot of ideas), Blogs (Short articles with practical teaching tips), Videos, e-books, online courses, and self-assessment. They are usually available for free but the challenge is finding these resources and keeping a record for future reference. When you find something that interests you, save it using one of these tools: Evernote, Google Keep, Diigo, and OneNote. These tools can be used as mobile apps or as a website on a computer. You can also select a browser add-in for any of these tools, to save links and articles with just one click.
2. Create or Search for online classroom teaching resources
As teachers, you need to make learning a more enriching experience for both you and your learners. For this you can search online for Lesson Plans, worksheets, activities, online games, posters, pictures, videos, etc. or take a clue. Regardless of the resources you select, make sure you adapt them for your teaching context, and your learners’ needs.
When you find something that interests you, save it using http://www.livebinders.com/
This digital folder works just like a real folder except that it makes collecting online resources very easy. The tool is also available as a smartphone app, so you can collect resources on the go!
3. Keeping Everything Organized
You should choose a single platform for storing and delivering assignments, collecting student work, posting announcements, like Google Classroom, Canvas, Blackboard, or Edmodo. Creating a central hub should be a priority. Parents and students often find multiple platforms and multiple streams of information, stressful. One simple approach is to maintain a single document (usually a Google Doc) for the whole school. In that document are links to individual documents for each teacher. You may also explore Trello, Book widgets to organize your work better
4. Connecting and Communicating with Students
You can have different pathways for communicating with your students. It can be asynchronous, meaning participants can access the conversation whenever it’s convenient; they don’t need to be present at the same time or synchronous, meaning participants must “attend” the conversation at the same time.
For asynchronous pathways you need to make videos these videos can be easily made on smartphones or using platforms like Loom but why should you need a video for?
It may range from any of the reason below
Flipped classroom –Record teaching key concepts and ask students to go through the videos before they come to class.
Reflective Blogs- Vlog= Video+Blog! Reflect on your practice and share with other teachers
Real World =Bring your textbook to life by recording short videos that can be used to make students interested in lesson contexts. For example, if you have a text on shopping, make a video of some local shop
On the Synchronous pathway, you and your students can communicate back and forth in a more open dialogue, where you broadcast yourself live and students attend as participants in one-on-one, small-group, or whole-class sessions. For this pathway, many teachers are using video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts Meet, and Microsoft Teams.
5. Options for delivering content
It is important to figure out how students are going to take in the content on the virtual platform. You have a few options, and it’s a good idea to not just stick to one avenue since you ideally want to give students multiple modes of intake. Ensure to use animations in your presentations, you may like to try out a few apps like Plotagon or Tellagami.
The school has a very different vibe. A teacher now talks to the screen, while students from all locations are still learning, interacting, and responding to the lesson. Although it took some time to adjust and let students adjust to the new normal but now it is a time to give your students a new experience that will keep them motivated to learn and look forward to your virtual classroom.