Moving to online classes? Check out these tools that all teachers conducting online classes are using.
The COVID-19 outbreak has suddenly made the internet an indispensable tool. Work from home is becoming a norm. I-T veterans say that the trend of ‘work from home’ facilitated by the internet may continue post-COVID-19 era as well. It is fast, simple, economical and the best tool for adverse situations like the one humanity is facing right now.
This gives the teaching community all the more reason to look for online alternatives. That is, move over to online teaching using software for teaching online. No one can overlook the benefits of classroom teaching but we’ll have to agree that online teaching is proving to be more convenient, highly accessible, inexpensive, and easy. (If and only if right tools are used in an effective way)
If you are a teacher who is looking for ways to deal with this slump and get back into the teaching groove, online teaching is something you will HAVE to learn, understand and incorporate into your teaching. And if you are wondering how to conduct online classes, here’s a break-up of things you need to keep in mind:
Use an online meeting platform for classes
Working professionals have been using online meeting platforms to conduct virtual meetings. Teachers can use the same online platforms to conduct live video classes. Many platforms like Zoom, Cisco WebEx, and Google Meet can be used for this. In fact, Google has come up with Google Classrooms which is a free platform to manage online classes. These are some of the best tools for online classes.
Since these classes are live, they make online classes interactive. There is two-way communication with the teacher explaining the subject and the student acknowledging it. Scope for students getting lost in the video lecture this way is very less as the student can interject the teacher for doubt at any moment. Moreover, many of these platforms are free or are available at very cheap prices, with their globally proven track record.
Upload the video of your lecture online
When you use the aforementioned platforms for conducting live online classes, you immediately get the service of recording the session and using it later on. Teachers can not only share it with their students but also upload it on online video sharing websites like YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, etc.
This was you achieve two things. One, you make online coaching effective for your students by giving them access to the video, which they can watch during self-studying or clearing any doubts. Secondly, you can easily make a video-bank of your lectures which will help you keep at the track of your lectures and the topics you have covered. Since it would be out in the public domain, many students can access your video lecture and study. Many teachers we see are using these platforms to build their brands, and it is a very smart approach as well. Once you as a teacher have become a known brand on platforms like YouTube, then monetizing the content can become a cake-walk in the future.
The videos are not secure in the above-mentioned case. If you want to monetize the video lecture, you need to keep your videos secure. You should choose secure services with digital rights management(DRM) to keep video lectures safe from piracy. MegaExams is one such provider that offers such a service.
Use online exam software to assess your students
You have to acknowledge the fact that you cannot physically conduct tests for students and check their answer sheets; so you have to use alternative ways to conduct tests to assess your students at the end of a session.
Without a test, it is impossible to determine how much a student has understood the subject. Online exams are an excellent mode for this. Online exam software like MegaExams is a unique exam hosting web service that allows teachers to conduct online exams without any glitches.
What makes this online exam software more attractive is the fact that you have a countless number of questions of all major examinations in India categorized into topics and sub-topics for creating unlimited question papers in minutes.
When students attempt the test, there is no lag and you get immediate results for the test. Additionally, teachers get a proper break-down of a student’s result which has an analysis of the student’s understanding of the topic. The online assessment is quick, easy, and is an efficient tool for teachers conducting online classes. MegaExams is a leading online exam software that provides pre-loaded questions online for numerous exams.
Tips for getting started
There are a few basic things you will need to get before starting off with online classes effectively. You need to create an efficient system that not only gets the students in the groove to take these classes as seriously as physical classrooms. You can start off with basic things like trying to stick to the original classroom format with a white-board for explanation and breaking things down.
Teachers need to have a proper plan before venturing out with online classes. Motivate your students to follow the plan and tell them online classes are going to be as formal and challenging as classroom teaching. Encourage discipline and timeliness of assignments/ homework or daily practice tests or quizzes.
Teachers should also implement a communication system in place which most software implemented for live classes or online exam provides for free.
About the author: Mr. Santhosh, has 12+ years of teaching experience, both in offline and online environments. In addition to teaching, he also has a rich experience in managing Kerala’s one of the largest PSC coaching institutes, Wincentre, with more than 3,000 students learning every year. For live classes, he has been using Zoom in his institute for the last 5 years and deeply believes in the fact that live classes should be clubbed with regular online assessments and regular analyses of each student’s results. Revisiting topics that the students are weak at, along with providing students with unlimited practice tests has been the key to his success. His belief and approach can be the success mantra for other teachers in the country.
Online exams offer a myriad of benefits to teachers delving into online classes. MegaExams has a question bank of over 500,000 questions curated by subject experts. Online exams make the shift to online classes less stressful for teachers and give analytical insights on students’ performance.