Showing posts with label online teaching. Show all posts
Showing posts with label online teaching. Show all posts

Friday, April 2, 2021

Five Jamboard Features You Should Know How to Use

In the last year Jamboard has become one of my favorite tools for online and hybrid instruction. I often use it in place of Zoom's whiteboard function because I can create multiple page whiteboards that I then share with my students via Google Classroom. My students can then take notes on their own copies of the Jamboard and modify their copies of the Jamboard. I also like using Jamboard to give students diagram templates that they then complete on their own. Those features of Jamboard and more are highlighted in my new video, Five Jamboard Features You Need to Know.

In the following video you can learn:

1. How to use version history in Jamboard and how to name versions. 

2. How to quickly duplicate objects and why that's helpful.

3. How to export Jamboards as PDFs. 

4. How to set custom backgrounds in Jamboard. 

5. How to create and distribute Jamboard templates. 

This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and 711Web.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Five Tips for Live Online Instruction

Whether you use Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams for online class meetings there are some universal things that you can do to make the experience better for you and your students. The following five tips for live online instruction are an excerpt from my recently published 2020-21 Practical Ed Tech Handbook.

Elevate your camera and plug in a mic: 
Besides the obvious, “no one wants to look up your nose” reason, elevating your webcam makes it easier for students to see your eyes during a live meeting. And you should keep your webcam on because students want to see you and make a connection with you and not just your voice whenever it is possible.

If you have one, use an external microphone for your live classes in Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams. Using an external microphone, especially one with a USB connection will improve the quality of your audio. Even pairing Bluetooth earbuds to your computer can improve the audio quality of your online meeting.

If you're looking to purchase an external microphone, for years I've used and recommended the Snowball iCE microphones made by Blue. For those who would prefer not to have another thing on their desks or are looking for a microphone that works with smartphones, try this lapel microphone.

Share an outline:
Just like you would put a daily agenda on the board in your physical classroom, share an agenda with your students at the start of each online class meeting. It gives students a sense of what to expect during the class and how the meeting will last. Don’t forget to give kids a break during the meeting if you’re going to have them on for more than twenty or thirty minutes.

Assign roles: 
Kids want something to do during a class meeting besides just listening to you drone on. Consider assigning roles like meeting secretary, fact-checker, or even co-moderator in your online meetings.

Silence is okay: 
It’s natural to want to fill every moment of an online class meeting with your voice or your students’ voices. You don’t have to do that. You can give students a task to work on during the meeting then just leave your webcam on and the call going to support them if they have questions while working on the task. Zoom’s breakout rooms function can be useful for this kind of meeting structure.

Announce recordings: 
If you plan to record a meeting, let your students and their parents know at the outset of the class.

Monday, April 13, 2020

How to Use Google Hangouts Meet in Google Classroom

Last week Google introduced a new way to incorporate Google Meet (AKA Google Hangouts Meet) into Google Classroom. The old method still works as well. In fact, I had already scheduled some meetings with the old method so that's what I used with my students this morning. Moving forward I'll be using the new method. Both methods for scheduling and hosting Google Hangouts Meet events are featured in my new video that is embedded below.

Answers to FAQs about Google Meet in Google Classroom:
  • With the new permanent Google Meet link your students cannot join before you (if you're using G Suite for Edu). 
  • You can reset the link if you need to. 
  • Students can't rejoin after you close the meeting. 
  • Yes, you can re-use the links within the same classroom. 
  • No, it is not the same link for all Classrooms within your G Suite for Edu account. 
    • If you have five Classrooms, you'll have five links. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

A Student View of Joining a Zoom Meeting on an Android Phone

A few days ago I got an email from a reader asking me what it looks like when a student tries to join a Zoom meeting on an Android phone. It was a good question because it is important to have an understanding of what a student experiences when he or she tries to use the technology that we're requesting them to use. I made the following short video to show what it looks like when a student joins a Zoom meeting on an Android phone.

It's important to note that students can join without installing the Zoom Android app. This video shows what it looks like when students join without installing the app.

On a related note, here's my overview of how to schedule and start a Zoom meeting as a teacher.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Webinar Recording - Three Things We Can Do To Quickly Transition to Teaching Online

Last night I hosted a free webinar in which I shared what I'm doing to transition to quickly transition to teaching my high school classes online. I also shared some advice from my colleague Dr. Wendy Robichaud on how to prepare students for online learning and what to focus on in the first week or two. Other highlights of the webinar included tips for making videos and tips for keeping a consistent communication schedule. The webinar concludes with a short demonstration of how to use EDpuzzle to make video lessons.

Like most of you, I'm quickly having to transition to teaching my classes online. I've taught professional development courses online for a decade, but this is the first time I have to do it for high school students.

The recording of the webinar is now available to view on my YouTube channel and as embedded below.

The slides from the webinar can be accessed here and viewed as embedded below.

Three Things We Can Do to Quickly Transition to Online Teaching by richardbyrne

Friday, March 6, 2020

How to Schedule, Host, and Customize Google Hangouts Meet Events

Last night I published Tips and Tools for Teaching Remotely. This morning I had an email from someone who read that and wanted to know if I had any tutorials on using Google Hangouts Meet. I didn't so I quickly made the following set of screenshots before my own class starts today. I'll try to make a video of this process later today, but for now these screenshots should get you started.

Step 1: Create a new event in Google Calendar. 

Step 2: Enable Hangouts Meet in your Google Calendar event. 

Step 3: Share the details for joining your Hangouts Meet event. Hangouts Meet should give you a link as well as a pin code for those who want to dial into your meeting. An easy way to do this is to post the link in Google Classroom.

Step 4: At the scheduled time go to and launch your meeting. 

You can share your meeting details with anyone even after the meeting has started. 

Step 5: Make sure your camera and microphone are working. 

Step 6: Enable captions for your meeting. You'll find this option by clicking on the little menu that appears in the upper, right corner of your webcam screen. 

Step 7: Customize the layout for your meeting or let Google automatically adjust it as people join. 

Step 8: Click "Present" to share your screen. 

Step 9: Click the red hang-up button to end the meeting. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Teaching Online - What Does it Take?

This week I am hosting guest blog posts. This one is from Nik Peachey. I have been following Nik's work for many years and I was flattered that he wanted to guest post on my little blog.

As the market for online tutoring and particularly for online English lessons continues to grow at rapid pace, it seems inevitable that eventually all teachers will be expected to be able to deliver some elements of their classes online.

This can be intimidating, especially for the less tech savvy teacher, but developing this ability isn’t so difficult and if you can overcome some of the technical obstacles there are many advantages to be able to teach online, not least the fact that, in many cases, you don’t have to leave home to do it and you can have more flexibility to fit your classes around your own schedule.

So what do you need to get started?
Firstly, you’ll need a laptop with a good quality headset and a webcam. Nowadays, the kind of headset you get with the average smartphone will usually be good enough for the job. Don’t be tempted to use the speakers built in to your laptop or desktop computer, this will cause echo for your students and won’t make you a popular teacher.

The next thing you need is a good broadband internet connection. If your home connection struggles, then there are a few things you can do to help it along. Plugging in with an ethernet cable rather than wifi can help, as can rebooting your computer before you start a class and ensuring that you don’t have other browser windows or programs open which could be sucking up your connection in the background.

Once you have the equipment side of things sorted you also need to find a suitable place to do it. This needs to be quiet, well lit and have a suitable looking background. Remember, your students are going to be able to see the room you are in, so make sure you don’t have your washing hanging up in the background. It’s also best to have a light behind your computer screen rather than behind you. This will ensure that you don’t appear as a silhouette. If you have a strong light that’s directional, try to bounce the light off of a wall and onto your face so that it lights your face without dazzling you.

When you set up your webcam try to make sure it is on eye level with your face and you look directly towards it. This will help you make eye contact with your students and also ensure that they aren’t looking up your nose or just the top of your head. Ideally they should be able to see from above your head and down to your elbows. This will give you a reasonable space to work in and help them understand some of the non verbal elements of communication.

One of the hardest challenges most teachers have when moving from the physical classroom to the online classroom, is the lack of visual space. In the classroom we have lots of space to move around play with the proximity to our students, mime, make exaggerated gestures and generally move around. In the online classroom, you are ‘trapped’ within the visual space that your webcam offers. This is limiting, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still use the space. Practice in front of the camera and see what the best distance away is to give yourself a bit more space. See how you can use hand gestures within that space. Examine the impact that moving in closer to the camera can have, or putting your hands closer to the camera. In time you can develop a whole new repertoire body language and communication gestures.

The other things you need are a platform for the delivery of you courses and some content to deliver. I have been working with the platform for some time and I find it has lots of great features such as document sharing, so that you and students can work on things like Google docs collaboratively, in the classroom. The ability to sync video across the class so that you can watch video from YouTube during the online classes, and it also provides an LMS with content creation tools so you can build in asynchronous elements to your courses for independent study or flipping your online classroom.

The last problem is content. You can’t simply grab a copy of your course book and scan it to use online as that would be violation of copyright, so you may find you have to create your own. I’ve done this using Genially. This is a great tool for creating all kinds of dynamic web-based content. This is an example of one of the lessons I developed using it.

Well, I hope this helps you to get started on your online teaching route and that you enjoy picking up some new skills along the way.

Nik Peachey is an award winning materials writer and course developer. He has been involved in education since 1992 and delivers conference presentations and workshops for teachers all over the world. He also co-founded PeacheyPublications Ltd where he publishes and shares a range of teacher development ebooks and digital classroom materials.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Edmodo:The Total Classroom Solution

In a digital world where we can easily "find an app for that" to help solve many problems, rarely do teachers have a one stop shopping place for all their classroom digital needs. There are many individual tools that can aid a teacher in retrieving student's digital work, polling/quizzing students or assigning work, but each of these tools usually requires a separate account. However, there is one, free, Web 2.0 app that brings everything together that you need for your classroom, including a social learning environment. The app that does all of this is called Edmodo. Here are just a few features that make Edmodo so great for teachers and students:
  • A place to assign and turn in work: The teacher can attach any file they may need for an assignment (rubric, worksheet, etc.) and students can upload any file to turn in their work. Links and embed codes can also be used to publish and share work easily.
  • A calendar to help students keep up with important dates: Assignment due dates, dates you'll be out, holidays, classroom birthdays or anything you can think of to post. Studentscan also add their own personal notes to dates that only they can see. The notes the students add to the calendar are not published to the class.
  • A digital library that will replace a student's flash drive: They can upload files into their "digital backpack" and download them when on any computer. The teacher can add necessary files to their library as well.
  • A place to post messages--urgent or not: Only teachers and students can interact with one another, student to student messages are not allowed. This feature is the most powerful and it's what makes Edmodo a "social LEARNING network." This feature looks and works a lot like a "wall" on Facebook.
  • A parent connection: every student is assigned a parent code so that parents can connect with the teacher on Edmodo, check grades and see posts to the class by the teacher and their child.
  • Groups: Teachers can create groups for classes, parents, study groups or connecting with distant classrooms. This feature keeps students safe and contains content only specific to certain groups. When students sign up for an account they don't need an email address, just the group code to join groups set up by their teachers.

Although, there are a lot more features to discuss, these are the cornerstone of what makes Edmodo so great for the classroom! Did I mention it looks a little like Facebook? Here is a screen shot of my 3rd period's Edmodo page:

If you would like to see some examples of how we've been using Edmodo in the classroom, here is our public page.

You might be asking, "where do all the great online tools I use everyday fit into using Edmodo?" Well, that's easy...any Web 2.o tool that allows your students to create a project and generate an embed code to publish it on a website, can be shared on Edmodo. Animoto, Glogster, Wallwisher, Cover it Live, Voki and many other great Web 2.0 apps can be incorporated into Edmodo, which brings it all together in the classroom. Here are some suggestions of ways to use these awesome tools within Edmodo:
  • Embed Wallwisher walls into the notes area for a brainstorming session
  • Post Animoto videos or Glogster posters into the notes area, then have students reply to at least 3 seperate posts to give peer to peer feedback on other students work
  • Embed a Cover it Live, live blogging, window to engage students in a moderated session where everyone shares their thoughts while watching a live event (presidential speech, classroom video, etc.)
  • Embed a Fotobabble in the notes area to reflect on a field trip that the whole class can hear. Each student can listen to each person's reflection to hear different experiences and perspectives of the trip.
I really do love Edmodo and my students enjoy the interaction it brings in the classroom. Whether you're a math teacher or an art teacher, Edmodo can be used effectively to accomplish your objectives. So if you haven't jumped on the Edmodo bandwagon, now is the time or your classroom is going to be left behind!

Kim Munoz is a middle school Technology teacher at Jane Long Middle School in Bryan, Tx. Jane Long is a Title 1 campus that has been apart of a 1:1 laptop program. She has presented at TCEA as well as at the EdTech Unconference, an online conference that is now called the Teacher Learning Community. You can find her sharing resources on her classroom blog as well as on Twitter (@techmunoz) and Skype (kmunoz98).

Friday, February 25, 2011

Advice and Instruction for Teaching Online

This is a bit of repost from December. I'm doing this for the great folks who were in attendance at the Alaska's Learning Network's conference/ workshop today. The conference/ workshops were all about using technology to create blended learning environments. I'll be post more about this great organization in a post later tonight.

Curt Bonk is a professor at the Indiana State University School of Education. Professor Bonk has produced a series of 27 videos containing strategies and tips for teaching online. The first video in the series, Planning an Online Course, is embedded below.

And for a text primer on teaching online courses, please see the "teaching online" section of The Super Book of Web Tools for Educators.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Big Marker - A Free Web Conferencing Platform

Big Marker is a new free service for conducting online conferences. I actually learned about Big Marker last weekend from a post by Larry Ferlazzo, but didn't get a chance to try it until this evening. What I discovered is that Big Marker looks like a great option for conducting online tutoring sessions, brainstorming sessions, and other online presentations.

Big Marker allows you to create your choice of a private or a public online meeting room. If you make your room public anyone can join. If you make your room private you have to give participants a password to enter the room.  Once in your Big Marker conference room you can share screens, chat via text, chat via audio, or turn on your webcam so that people can see and hear you. Your Big Marker conference room comes with a white board that you and your participants can write and draw on. As the creator of a Big Marker conference you can control who can and cannot be heard or seen in the live audio and video chats.

Applications for Education
Big Marker could be a great tool for conducting online tutoring sessions and lessons. Students working on collaborative projects could use Big Marker to brainstorm and plan for completion of their projects. As a professional development resource Big Marker could be useful for facilitating workshops online.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

eDhii - Create Online Self-study Courses

Update: May 2016 this service appears to be offline. 

eDhii is a service that allows you to create or take self-study courses online. eDhii course creators can offer their content for free or charge a fee for their course content. Course creators only pay a fee if they choose to charge for their course's content. Course content can include text, images, and videos. People in search of a lesson or course can search eDhii's listing of courses and lessons by topic.

Applications for Education
eDhii doesn't appear to offer a good way for course creators to "grade" assignments or to have students submit assignments. That said, it could be a good place to find a course or lesson for informal online learning.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Udemy Launches Free Online Teaching Platform
Learnopia - A Place for Hosting Online Courses
RCampus - Create and Conduct Courses Online

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Udemy Launches Free Online Teaching Platform

Udemy, a free platform for teaching online that I wrote about in March, has officially launched for public use. Udemy offers a variety of tools for delivering content online. Course creators can publish slideshows, publish videos, and create mash-ups of slideshows and videos synched together. Course creators can also hold live online sessions through Udemy's virtual classroom platform.

Learn more about Udemy in the video below.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Big Blue Button - An Open Source Video Conferencing Platform

Big Blue Button is an open source project that has developed a video conferencing system similar to the commercial offerings of Adobe Connect and Elluminate. Big Blue Button was created for the purpose of teaching online. Just as Adobe and Elluminate do, Big Blue Button allows you to present slides, chat via text, talk with presentation participants via VOIP, and share screens. Watch the demo videos here to see Big Blue Button in action.

Applications for Education
Big Blue Button is not a hosted solution so you will need to have server space dedicated to it and you'll probably need a person willing to invest some time in learning about Big Blue Button. For those reasons Big Blue Button is being marketed (although "marketed" is not really the right term for an open source project) to colleges and universities where there are more technical and human resources available as compared to K-12 public schools. That said, if you have the technical and human resources in place to implement it, Big Blue Button could represent a cost-effective way to offer online classes to middle school and high school students.