Who says that online teaching is easy? If you are a teacher who have grown old teaching in the four corners of the classroom, a borderless classroom is madness! You’d rather quit, right? But quitting is just a spur of the moment thought, because knowing you, a dedicated teacher, you can’t just abandon the greatest vocation you have promised to fulfill until the end of your life, even if it meant undergoing a lot of stresses and pressures in adapting to the whole new world of remote learning. But don’t you worry! There are tons of helpful information in the internet which will help you go through this phase.
When you start right, everything else follows smoothly. Here are tips to start right in your online teaching.
- Prepare yourself; body, mind and spirit. Our human brains are naturally made to resist to sudden change. It is alright to react negatively, be anxious and afraid. Just be good to yourself, let the change unfold gracefully and let it slowly integrate into your being, until it becomes a part of you. Allot at least one to two hours everyday appreciating online teaching. Read positive right-ups and success stories about online teaching. As you prepare your mind and spirit, take care of your physical health too.
- Choose your Platform. Now that you have admitted to yourself the reality that online teaching is here to stay. It is time to choose the best videoconferencing platform where you will put up your virtual classroom. You will not have difficulty finding and comparing video conferencing apps because there are only few popular apps around, among them are Google Meet, Zoom, Skype and the likes. Personally, I prefer Zoom because I like the unique features of Zoom, and they keep on upgrading and improving their platform. Once you have chosen your platform, study it, watch YouTube tutorials, explore and navigate the software and practice using it with your colleagues. It would only take you 1-2 days getting acquainted if not mastering the use of the platform.
- Pamper yourself. Yey! You’ve finally mastered the use of the platform. Treat yourself with good hardware that goes with your platform. Shop for good quality web cam, headset and ring light, they’re your effective tools for teaching. According to experts, a 1080p web cam is best option (if you are using a laptop, you may not need a web cam) and a headset with good audio and noise cancelling headphone. But why do you need a ring light? Because a good lighting adds brightness to your place. Who would want to pay attention when you are just a shadow to your students? Then, for additional good vibes, find plants known to absorb harmful radiation from electronic gadgets. Some of these plants are cactus, aloe vera, and snake plants. Surround yourself with these plants.
- Find your place. Great! You are almost ready! One of the difficult challenges in setting-up a virtual class is finding the perfect space in your home where you will feel comfortable and confident to deliver your lesson without getting distracted. A square-meter nook is enough to set-up your place. It is advisable that you have your back in a plain wall. Having your back in an open space where family members walk to and fro, is a bit distracting to your students. Otherwise find a quiet room with less traffic and zero noise.
- Get connected. Lastly, your online class will not go without it—internet connection. A reliable internet connection! Experts opinion suggest that 1-5 mbps is needed to pull off virtual classes with video. In case you are experiencing low bandwidth, turn-off your video cam because it gets most of your bandwidth. If you can connect directly to your modem using Ethernet cable, do so. It gives more stable connection rather than Wi-fi.
Good work teacher! Do not let technology overshadow you. You are way more effective technology or no technology. Be an inspiration.