Tips for Virtual Conference Lessons

photography of woman using laptop

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

To continue my helps for teachers while dealing with this situation (COVID-19 and having to race to turn F2F classes into online courses) today I am sharing a few tips to help your video conferencing lessons. There are SO many posts right now:

Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 3.59.42 AM

on how and what, etc. when it comes to virtual conferences that I decided to just hand out some practical wisdom for the teachers as we break into it (mine start on Wednesday, I know others have started and some are just a few short days away). Whatever your situation, here are some thoughts to help out.

Tips for Virtual Conference Lessons

  • Be aware that it is even easier for the students to be disengaged in the conference rooms (they can mute their videos and their sound, so they may or may not be present with you – in body, mind, or spirit!)
  • Be engaging – here are some ideas:
    • assignments to give them and have them break out into conference rooms for those discussions.
    • Share your screen – images, photos, polls, games (yes it’s okay to have a silly game or get-to-know you activity in the middle of all of this), videos
    • Make these times enjoyable to be there. I know that some of the content is serious – perhaps turn those more serious lessons into at home lessons (see posts Thurs and Fri this week).
  • Consider using the meetings for major general announcements, or teaching basic important principles and concepts.
  • Then put them into groups for:
    • deeper study,
    • to quiz each other,
    • small group assignments,
    • discussions based on prepared questions, etc.

Tips for Teachers Before and During Virtual Conferences

  • There are videos online of how to work EVERY new technology. Just google what you need, for example this search – zoom video conferencing how to use, scroll down and find the video that you can watch in the time that you have available.
  • Get into a test conference room with friends. See what it looks like from the POV of a laptop, a phone, etc. Use all of the gadgets a head of time.
  • You can have a word document, whiteboard, or slide ready in the room when they enter with instructions such as:
    • virtual classroom etiquette
    • virtual classroom rules
    • A starter assignment, question, or item to ponder
    • Something to quickly get ready based on the reading materials, etc.
  • Have everything practiced, pulled up, and ready to go well before the meeting (just as you would a class).
  • Have the students wait in a virtual waiting room if need be and then let them enter when you are all set up and ready for the meeting.
  • Have a word document ready on your computer with things to be copied and pasted on the whiteboard (It is AWFUL to try to write with a mouse – think signing your name on the digital pads).

Tips for not messing up

That’s hilarious! 🤣😂🤣

You will mess up. You will look incompetent.

Laugh at the problems – blame the corona virus, technology, whatever, but show the students that it is okay to have moments in life when we are not in control. This is real. This is human. Many of our students feel out of control right now (just as we do at times in front of a class). [Many of our students are celebrating not being in school and “carpe diem-ing” the crap out of life and they will freak out when they realize that yes, we were holding class the whole time, but that is a discussion for another time.] 😉

Teach them how to walk away from a moment and still move forward with dignity and a positive outlook – ready to show up the next day.

You’re a teacher. It’s what we do!


 

Enjoy! And please share it with those who need it, and comment on ideas that you have about tips and tricks for video conferencing.

Other posts in this series –

Help! I have to change my face-to-face classes to online in just a few days

Okay, Virtual Reboot, Now What? 

 

5 thoughts on “Tips for Virtual Conference Lessons

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