The Tools Educators Need When Doing Remote Classes over the Internet
The education sector is one of the many industries that were heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as soon as it struck. With social distancing being one of the effective ways to beat the virus, in-person classes became almost impossible. As anyone would expect, online learning became the most appropriate fallback plan around the globe. In addition to the usual websites and platforms, video conferencing and communication platforms and tools like Zoom, Skype, and WhatsApp quickly turned into the most popular tools of the trade among instructors and their students.
Even as the world is busy vaccinating its populations, against the virus remote classes are still a prevailing trend in many parts of the globe. The interesting bit is that remote learning appears to be here to stay, even long after we have defeated the virus. For obvious reasons, however, online learning doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges. Even with the most reliable connection, user-friendly websites, and a wealth of online resources, educators need to have the right tools to seamlessly deliver material to learners remotely. On this note, here are some of the tools educators need when doing remote classes over the internet.
1. The Ideal Platform
Unlike a few years back, delivering remote online courses has become easier over the years. However, this also means that it has become more competitive as the demand increases. As earlier mentioned, the demand skyrocketed in 2020-21 when social distancing and stay-at-home orders became necessary to curb the coronavirus pandemic. If you decide to sell online lessons as an educator or trainer, your success will largely be determined by the delivery platform you choose. Different platforms have different features, but the best ones provide various tools to help you in developing online lessons and promoting them. Some notable platforms of this caliber include Udemy, Kajabi, Teachable, Podia, and Thinkific, just to name a few.
2. A Stable Internet Connection
As an online educator, one of the things you won't want to have issues with is your internet connection. If you want your students to pay attention, you need to make sure your connection isn't on and off every time. You need to talk to your internet provider and ask them to maximize the speed of your internet connection, which may come at an extra cost. It is also advisable to have your computer connected to the internet via a cable rather than Wi-Fi. This ensures that the speed is maximized for quality browsing. You need to as well prepare for the worst-case scenario like losing the internet connection in the middle of a session. A backup plan like mobile data should be on standby. These measures can help make your course delivery sessions seamless and more enjoyable.
3. Multiple Devices on Standby
The best device to use as an online teacher is a desktop computer. It might seem old-fashioned due to the introduction of touch-screen devices, but it also gives you the maximum potential that proves instrumental during the sessions. A desktop computer allows you to easily use multiple resources at a decent speed. You can also have two or more screens for easy monitoring of your students even when sharing other things. Having devices such as your laptop, tablet, and smartphone nearby helps in cases where you lose power, internet connectivity, or didn't make it to your workstation and a session is due. That way you get to conduct your sessions from wherever you are.
4. A Good Headphone and Microphone
It would be very wise of you if you didn't depend on the inbuilt headphones, microphone, or even at times the camera on any of your devices. They might be good but easily pick up the background sounds making your delivery of content to your students ineffective. Get a headphone with an inbuilt microphone and preferably one that is close to your mouth. This will give you and your students the best communication experience ever.
Online teaching requires software that can support multiple users, the sharing of files, videos, and other learning materials. You need to consider the needs of your students when making this choice. There are several software options out there, including free and paid options. As an online instructor, you can get the paid version of any software you choose so you have full control. Also, keep in mind that to increase the memory retention of your students, an interactive kind of learning will be essential. That is why it's advisable to include video-conferencing software so that you and your students can have discussions now and then.
Another necessity is reliable document management tools. Once you have started your sessions, you will need to give tests and assignments to your students. This means that it is just a matter of time before you have a bunch of documents requiring storage and organization. To manage them and keep track of these documents you will need document management tools such as Evernote, Dropbox OneDrive, or similar programs you may find convenient. Do not also forget to urge your students to take some notes the good old traditional way on a notebook because it goes a long way in improving their understanding of concepts and lessons.
Source: NoobsLab | Eye on Digital World