As our two pre-service teachers, enter their virtual placement week, it is necessary to have as much scaffolding in place for them. They will be teaching a variety of year levels and age groups – from 13 years through to 17 years of age, using a number of tools, but mostly elluminate.
Therefore, it is time to reflect on what they need to do before their online class, during the class and finalizing class and have a running sheet set up for them, to use as a guideling. Following are some tips and hints on teaching successfully. What has been left out? How could it be improved?
Planning for the lesson
Book an elluminate room
Organise your powerpoint slides
Work out features required:- polling,media, app sharing, breakout rooms.
Plan a running sheet with times allocated for each activity
Use as much interactivity as possible
Consider an ice breaker
Place the participants’link on your blog or in an easily accessible space.
Seek another moderator to help you (if need be.)
Use the chat and the whiteboard.
Vary the activities
Use busy images as much as possible
Think about a discipline plan
Set up a backchannel eg twitter or skype if there is a supervising teacher with the class.
Prior to lesson
Enter room, test audio.
Test, test and always test.
If time practise any special features to be used in class
Move the ‘start recording’ button to the side.
Load powerpoint slides
You may wish to start with a graffiti board, where students can play while others are getting into the room.
Check the number of mics, the connection setting, tools allowed etc
Create a timeout room folder (for those who are misbehaving), Create any breakout folders required
Open any urls that you might wish to app share
Send any files that you may need to share
Make moderators of selected participants
Go through a code of conduct with the students.
During the lesson
Students should test their audio through wizard upon entry, may be allowed to graffiti or ‘Play on a clean whiteboard’ until all are in.
Warn that you are about to start the recording, clean up any whiteboards, ensure class is silent and ready, then press record.
Remember to speak deliberately s..l..o..w..l..y and clearly.
Welcome the class/ give a general introduction to the lesson
Briefly run through the virtual classroom tools
Start with an icebreaker
Use the timer constantly – short sharp activities
Use images, little text
Use polls where possible
Get them to answer a question in chat, don’t press send until told, use a green tick when completed. Then get them all to send response at once (stops cheating)
Use the chat, the whiteboard and encourage the use of emoticons for feedback.
Vary the activities and make as interactive as possible
Use busy images as much as possible
Save the participants list (this is a valuable type of roll marking)
If discipline is required, use capital letters to raise your voice in the chat, send students to timeout room for a warning, keep them there for predetermined time, remove any tools that they have, send back to main room when ready.
If student is constantly misbehaving, keep them in the timeout room. If you remove them from the room, they may still have the link and will just keep coming back in.
To assess student progress during the lesson
Maintain video image on the working class, get some students to individually application share their work so that you can see how they are going.
All questions should be placed in the chat, so virtual teacher maintains control
To complete the lesson
Share any closing activities
Allow sufficient time to pack up any gear eg headsets, netbooks/laptops etc
Set up a whiteboard for feed back or have a preset survey link for students to complete
Finalizing the session
Switch off the recording
Make sure all participants are removed from the room before exiting
Save the chat
Save the whiteboards
Find the recording link, (usually in an email of person who booked the room) and save it
Share the recording link back on your blog so students can go back to it for revision etc
Claire Bloom presented on an inspiring topic of breaking borders with Web2.0. I recently met Claire at the recent Innovations Showcase, sat through her session and enjoyed it very much. Soon after, I met her online in a web conference leaders’ elluminate session. Claire asked me what should be done if everything went pear shaped! Well, that is exactly what happened this afternoon, when the links I tweeted, did not seem to work for those who wanted to join. Those issues were resolved, and just as I was to start the recording, our power went off……completely off. That was it no computer access, no wireless access, no telephone (we dont have mobile phone service). Rather than panic, I ran out to the orchard to try and get sufficient service to try and ring Claire. She failed to answer her mobile phone! No what! I walked back into the house and to my delight, the power was back on.
It took 10 mins to log back in and it was so good to see that Claire had started the session and those who were determined to join the session had succeeded. Claire shared stories of the global, interactive project she set up with a school in Wellington New Zealand, using skype and elluminate.
Lois Smethurst presented on elearning, using the voice, which was the focus that her principal presented to her, when she was employed to work at Berwick Lodge Primary School. Lois discussed the use of digital audio in a variety of ways to help students to make sense of their learning and empasised the importance of oral learning. Quoting Lois “audio is the
Lois advises using unidirectional microphones
livescribe pen with a camera in it and records sound use on special paper
At a recent online session for web conference leaders someone asked what to do “should everything go amiss!” Response: “The show must go on!”
Well…. I had a night like that tonight. Logging onto the room for our second of three series for TechnoParents and connecting staff and parents together, I was utterly dismayed to realise that I had forgotten to book the room through the online conference centre! Initially we were going to start two weeks earlier but due to a busy calendar delayed the commencement of the online sessions.
After some quick thinking, I quickly booked a room through learncentral, grabbed the link and quickly changed the link on the two blog posts where parents and students would go, to get access to the session. This was 30 mins before we were to start. As the starting time approached, a number of staff logged on, some new to the elluminate environment. It was starting time, and we still just had staff until a parent appeared in the participants list and then several more. The session commenced and followed the following agenda:-
1. Quick tour around the features of elluminate
2. An icebreaker. Participants were asked what ingredients they do not like on their pizza from the following options:- pineapple, olives, salami, cheese. Participants then had to make up three pizzas that all of us would eat.
3. Sharing stories – what I do in my spare time! Thanks to Marg M for sharing their bird raising (Macaws) stories with us.
4. The Ultranet – with our Principal, Mr Colan Distel
5. Sustainability projects in our school with Britt Gow
6. Link up with American School of Bombay , Mumbai, India and our years 5/6 student volunteers at lunchtime, to discuss racism and Australia going to India to play sport with me, Anne M 7. Whiteboard brainstorming – where can we go with these online sessions with fantastic input and great ideas from both parents and staff?
Next week we have our year 7 and prep transition information evening. Should we invite interested prospective parents to come online with us for next week’s session?
Working with CEP (Country Education Project) on the prospect of online teaching rounds with final year Education students at the University of Ballarat, I have worked with some of the students as an advisor for their enterprise project. One of the students is named Hein. Hein asked to speak to my students on life at university, preparation for applying for university and general hints and tips for a seamless transition to university. He had prepared a MS Powerpoint presentation and used elluminate to make his presentation. I helped by booking a room through the Victorian Department of Education’s Virtual Conference Centre.
My year 12 ITA students were studying virtual team work as part of their course so this was an ideal application of their theory work. Hein talked from a student’s point of view so his tips, ideas and aspirations were interesting to listen to. The chat was quiet initially but students were soon asking some excellent questions in relation to advice on GAP years, university life etc
As I entered the elluminate room tonight, I wondered what I would find. I had just answered a phone call from a parent who had problems entering the scheduled room and spent 10 mins or so, trying to step her throught the processes of unblocking the popup filters on her computer. It was with some nervousness that I logged on to the room.
What if there is noone there, what if noone can get in, what if the audio does not work, what if my internet fails…
It was 15 mins after the room had officially opened, that I got in. To my great surprise there were already nine partipants in the room – a mix of staff, students and parents. Time was spent testing microphones and sound, with the usual mix of problems. Fortunately the majority of presenters were able to use their microphones. Here is the link to the recording! Soon, it was time to start the session. After a brief introduction to elluminate, an ice breaker requested participants to write their names on the board, colour them and make them look ‘pretty’. Soon we had a neat colourful board of names! The following speakers were given 7 mins or more to speak on their chosen topic. Here is what it looked like! (Here is the link to the recording)
Ms Murnane spoke about her ‘week in a sentence’ task found on her blog, walking parents through how to add a comment and encouraging parents to be involved.
Rachel Neale a prep teacher from Darwin spoke about the ‘teddy bear exchange’ with our school. She had shared photos with us and spoke about her class and why this teddy bear exchange was so important to her culturally mixed class. Tyna Lee (our prep teacher) also spoke about the exchange from Hawkesdale P12 College point of view. Questions came thick and fast for Rachel enquiring about life as a teacher in Darwin. Thanks Rachel for coming online with us.
Mr Keith, our assistant principal spoke briefly on the naplan testing.
Mrs Gow (our maths/science teacher) spoke about activities in maths and science for the past week and showed some wonderful photos of the activities, including the recent healthy breakfast. Finally, the Education week timetable was outlined, with students coming online telling us about the books they are taking to the pre-school to read to the students there. Alannah spoke about the golf day which grade 5s enjoyed today! Suggestions for the future use of elluminate with parents/community were put forward. There will be further sessions over the next two weeks and then it is hoped regular sessions might continue.
Parents quite readily tried the tools and wanted to test microphones. They were far more confident than I thought they would be.
The majority of parents who had said they would participate seemed to be online.
The newsletter publicised our exciting events to be held for Education Week, and realised from the questions, that some information was missing.
The pace of the chat- was very lively much of the time. Most participants placed comments, questions, statements of support etc in the chat. A great interactive feature of elluminate.
Great to have our e-guest from Darwin speaking – added another element of interest for all.
The students spoke and talked about what they had done today and were doing tomorrow adding nother rich element to the conversations.
The strong support from our staff, including the principal class and leadership team.
The strong impact and enrichment that images give to the conversations.
Need to work out why audio did not work for some.
Will question students at school, to seek out who could not log on and follow up on possible reasons why?
Sift through the chat conversation and record the suggestions given for future use of elluminate.
Determine what further advice or documentation is required.
Follow up the times for some of the events on Thursday morning for education week.
7 mins was not long to give each speaker Need to revisit and discuss this limit. However, it does add variety.
We could save the chat conversation but not the whiteboard, so I need to enable that next time.
Thank you to all involved. Another amazing experience showing the power that technology can give to education and transforming communities. Thank you to the virtual conference centre of DEECD for allowing us to use this room.
As each week goes by, our logging in to elluminate speeds up. This means we can share for a longer period of time. Still, there were technical issues as Mr Zainuddin’s laptop would not work! So Zainuddin, the teacher was an observer! Hope it works next week. Microphones are still not working, but it is easier to start with the chat and work our way up to the more challenging features.
Three questions were asked of the students:-
What is your favourite food?
What is special about your school?
List the technology that you use at home.
What we learnt:- the different foods of Malaysia!
catch of the day from Dome and chicken fried rice!
Students in Malaysia call their mobile phones, hand phones.
G'day! I am a secondary teacher in a small rural prep to year 12 school in Australia. I teach Information Technology and Accounting and am passionate about learning, immersing technology in the classroom, rural education and global education.