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Teaching live lessons via Zoom

(14 Posts)
xsquared Sat 21-Mar-20 15:57:35

I teach small groups and one to ones at college, but like most people, I won't be doing that face to face next week.

I have recently signed up to Zoom and I'm thinking of offering some interactive online sessions with some of my students and a private tutee.

This would be a completely new experience for me, so I was wondering whether anyone had any tips please? I have some mini whiteboards for exposition and I know that there is a share function on Zoom which I've played with.


OP’s posts: |
armwrestler Sat 21-Mar-20 16:01:53

Hi OP I need to do this too but I've never done it before!
We had a brief training session on just the functionality not pedagogy but she said to mute others mics while you're speaking otherwise you just end up with background noise drowning you out, and I think there was a whiteboard function on Zoom too?
I hope someone can give some better advice as I'll be doing this for 4 months!

GinnyStrupac Sat 21-Mar-20 16:07:38

We are meant to be starting this next week for one to one teaching of a subject, so I also will be interested in responses here! We've received some advice (from the union) which includes that pupils should not be alone in their bedrooms during the lessons but in a communal room in the home with the door open - safeguarding, obviously.

GinnyStrupac Sat 21-Mar-20 16:12:04

Parents rather than pupils are to be emailed with a date, time and link for their child to join the video meeting - I think OP said they are in a college, so perhaps the safeguarding aspects are less of an issue.

tribpot Sat 21-Mar-20 16:17:20

Yes, you can do 'mute all' on Zoom and you can configure it so that everyone joins on mute as well.

One of the key challenges with voice conferences particularly is that no-one quite knows when to speak. If everyone is using video, you can ask them to raise their hands when they have a question. With or without video, they can type it in a group chat and then you can deal with them all at the end. Group chat means everyone else can see what's already been asked, which might limit the number of repeated questions/people holding their hands up unnecessarily. I don't think Zoom yet has a function that allows users to virtually raise their hands (basically a notification to the presenter that they have a question - very useful if you're not on video). If not, you can always just ask people to hold questions until the end and then call on each person in turn, since no-one can tell who is/isn't about to speak.

There is a built-in whiteboard in Zoom and you can also share either your whole screen or just a part of it (a single application). If sharing your whole screen, very useful not to have anything embarrassing popping up like Facebook notifications or chat conversations (or for one of my colleagues last week, a URL, username and password all displayed in a text note at the bottom of her screen grin )

I would do video if you can; a number of my team live alone and so the daily morning meeting may be the only time they actually see someone else that day. But it does use up more bandwidth and I'm not sure how the broadband network is going to cope. On which note, I would make sure you have a backup plan; Zoom comes with a dial-in number so I would arrange with your students beforehand that if the call fails or the quality is too poor, everyone will dial in and you will email the slides to them. It's useful to have a separate chat tool so you can get hold of them if the call does stop working, although Zoom does have its own chat tool built in now, so if everyone will be logging in with a Zoom account (rather than just clicking on an invitation to join a particular meeting) you could reach them that way.

GinnyStrupac Sat 21-Mar-20 16:24:28

They will then be prompted to download the app to a smartphone, or a tablet/laptop which will obviously give better results. It's completely free and I'm told better than FaceTime or Skype.

A function on Zoom allows the sessions to be screen captured or recorded. After the session has ended it can be emailed to the parent or adult student to use for further learning and then deleted by the teacher, again for safeguarding purposes. The sessions might well be useful as evidence for exam boards.

PurpleDaisies Sat 21-Mar-20 16:25:49

Have you checked with your college that you’re happy for you to do this? It’s a big no from my school because of potential safeguarding issues.

PurpleDaisies Sat 21-Mar-20 16:26:13

They’re happy, not you’re!

xsquared Sat 21-Mar-20 16:54:39

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for your comments so far. I understand that safeguarding is an issue and that it would need to be done in a communal area on the student's side. In which case I shall have to contact my line manager for further advice.

Our head of department doesn't even know about Zoom and I only know about it because a lot of the events that were meant to take place this week, happened over Zoom whoch dh uses at work. He has told everyone, that they should at a minimum set work on the VLE on a weekly basis and make themselves available online during their working ours.

OP’s posts: |
GinnyStrupac Sat 21-Mar-20 17:05:44

You could also get advice from your Union, OP. I will try to remember to update after we have had our first session next week.

xsquared Sat 21-Mar-20 18:04:38

I've just looked through my college emails and one of the members of the TLA team has sent a list of links about teaching online, so I think the college is okay with it if he's sent it.

OP’s posts: |
xsquared Sat 21-Mar-20 18:21:12

Thanks Ginny Strupac. I won't say anything about teaching online to my students yet until I've had further clarity from my line manager.

OP’s posts: |
petrocellihouse Sat 21-Mar-20 18:44:28

Zoom does have a raise hand function for participants. You can also record your session if you want to use it for future teaching or students who couldn’t be there. If you don’t want want students to be able to draw or comment on your presentation, disable the annotate function.have fun with it it’s not too bad at all!

winewolfhowls Sat 21-Mar-20 19:33:59

This is my worst nightmare. Its awful enough doing exam marking standardisation as an online thing and that's with well educated adults.

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