Many schools in China have switched to teaching online for the time being. Actually, a lot of teachers are becoming more and more curious about online teaching.
While it sounds quite simple, online classes are a bit more complex than they seem to be. I’ve been teaching online for years and that’s why I decided to share these 5 tips with you to create the best online class experience for yourself and for your students. To watch this video on Youtube, click here.
1. Platform. Choose the platform that works best for you, your students and your school. Pay attention to:
How many students can join the session?
Can all your students access the platform? (for example, if you are accessing from outside of China)
Is it mobile-friendly?
2. Tools. Get a set of tools that will help you do your work better:
A tool for organising and executing your work. You might want to consider a platform that allows you to add your colleagues and students online. I personally use Trello but a free version has a limited number of people that can join.
A tool for collecting students’ answers or homework – I use Padlet and Trello.
Make a written or video guide for your students on how to access and use the tools.
3. Content. Adapt your content to online teaching.
Break your class into smaller time segments: 5 min information – 5 minutes interaction: action/games/exercise. Do not do lecture-style – your students will fall asleep or get distracted too easily – they are very comfortable at home and they’ll have a short attention span.
Use questions! This is one of the best ways to keep your students engaged and active. Maybe you will not get the answer you want but you’ll make the student think of the questions and a possible answer.
Create your own body language – hand gestures that your students can use to signal that they are on the same page with you (ex.thumbs up to signal that they can hear you).
4. Make a PPT or any slides for guiding your students and making it easier for them to get engaged. It also makes students feel that you’ve prepared well:
use only keywords on your slides
add pictures and tables or graphs and spread them out in your PPT. At the Global Competence Online Project I introduce Sustainable Development Goals with this picture:
… and Project Management tools with this table:
5. Ask your students to take photos of how they do homework so you can make a collage out of all the photos at the end of the month. You’ll need to remind them and far not everyone will send photos but it’ll be a great motivation for some students – photos of my students. In fact, take a picture of your own class preparation too!
What do you think is most important when it comes to teaching online?
*This article is not sponsored, I mention the tools that I’ve been using myself for the last few years.*
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