Five Helpful Tips for Remote Teaching

When teaching or attending meetings remotely, it is essential to present yourself professionally. The following “Five Helpful Tips for Remote Teaching” will do just that!

Natural light is preferred. You will want to face the window. If your back is to the window, you will appear very dark — almost shadow-like — in the video. This effect is known as backlit, which you want to avoid. As we all know, our great State of Ohio can experience all four seasons in a week, and our winters can be very gray. On the gray weather days, you will want to place a lamp behind your monitor to brighten your face. To look your best, you may want to consider purchasing a video conference ring light. The ring lights provide soft and even lighting.
Camera Angle
If you have ever offered to take a group picture, you probably have heard at least one person say, “Take the pic from above!” Well, it is the most flattering camera angle after all. When on a Zoom or Meet call, your camera should be slightly above eye level. You may need to prop up your device, so it is higher. Also, you may need to adjust the device lid by moving it forward or backward. As a general rule, do not sit too close to the camera. You will want to remain an arm’s length away.
Look Professional
I believe keeping a daily routine for both teachers and students is important during remote learning. It is easy to fall into the comfy trap. It is unclear who first said, “Try not to dress down more than one level from your normal school attire.” but I think this is a wise rule to follow. 
Minimize Distractions
You will want to keep whatever is in the camera view tidy. If there is too much going on in the background, students may become easily distracted. You may want to experiment with virtual backgrounds. You can use background images just for fun or incorporate a theme with your lesson/unit. Also, try to minimize noise distractions. At times, this can be unavoidable.
Eye Contact
It is helpful to look at the camera lens once in a while to make eye contact with your students. The eye contact will help foster a connection with your students. 
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Creating a Welcome Slide for Online Classes

Some of my favorite teachers were the ones that stood outside their classroom door to greet each student. When teaching online, I like to start the Zoom session in a similar friendly fashion. I want to have a welcome slide appear when students enter the Zoom call that includes:

  • a countdown timer to the start of our class
  • a list of what students will need to be successful for the daily lesson
  • an inspirational quote (just because I love quotes!)
  • a joke/riddle 
  • play music – usually a tune from Springsteen or Billy Joel

The below image was created by using Google Slides. It may be fun to create a welcome slide to match your lesson theme or the season. Google Slides lends itself to creating an image because of the design elements included in the program. The welcome greeting may help set the tone for an enthusiastic discussion. #MakeLearningFun read more

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Screencasting Tips

A screencast is a video recording of your device’s screen. A screencast is a fantastic way to create instructional videos, short “How-Tos,” and share ideas. If you are looking for a free screencasting app, you may want to try Screencastify, Screencast-O-Matic, or Flipgrid Video Shorts.

When creating a screencast, educators want to hold students’ attention and foster understanding of the material. The following tips may help you create instructional screencasts:

Organize Your Thoughts

By creating an outline, storyboard, or complete script will save you time in the long run. Your explanation will be more concise and clear. As teachers, we always recommend our students to create an outline. Let’s follow our sage advice. read more

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Using Flipgrid to Create Instructional Videos

Flipgrid’s Video Shorts tool is an excellent way to create instructional videos. Flipgrid’s recorder allows you to create a video using a Webcam, Screencast, upload a video from your computer, and combine all three methods into one amazing instructional video clip. The maximum length of the recording is 15-minutes.

Once you create the video, you can download the file or share it to Classroom, Teams, Remind, or via URL or QR Code.

Explore the Record Screen

After signing-in to Flipgrid, click on SHORTS.

The video screen will appear. read more

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Creating Digital Worksheets/Workbooks

When teaching online, you may want to use a handout that you would typically give each student as a hard-copy. Google Slides is known for creating compelling presentations, but it can also create interactive documents. By saving the image as a background to the slide master, it is more difficult for students to move or delete the image on the slide. You can easily share the digital worksheet/workbook in Google Classroom as “make a copy for each student.” Let’s get started!

First, save the handout as an =&0=& on your computer. If it is a PDF, you will need to take a =&1=& of the file. By doing so, it will convert the PDF to an image file and save it to your desktop.

  • Mac: Press Shift + Command + 4, then click and drag to set your selection. Chromebook: Ctrl + Shift + , then click and drag to set your selection.

  • Windows 10: Use the built-in Snipping Tool

  • Open a BLANK Google Slides presentation. NAME the file.

  • Next, we will add the image to the background. From the MENU bar, click on SLIDEEDIT MASTER
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