In the last month since the virus spread through many countries, educational institutions have made every effort to keep students engaged in the learning process while they transitioned to educate remotely. Both teachers and students have demonstrated exceptional resilience.
Now, since many countries are trying hard to contain COVID-19, many schools are providing classes online. As it can be seen now, teaching and learning from home is an excellent opportunity. However, for some, it has become a real challenge. How to ensure that students are involved in the process, without a real classroom?
Microsoft strives to ease this transition for both students and teachers and comes up with great solutions. Now, Microsoft Teams is available for free to schools through the Office 365 A1 offer. This provides a chargeless customized hub for class teamwork that includes video chats, online versions of the Office 365 applications and compliance tools, and information protection.
How To Transit To A Virtual Classroom
Microsoft Teams can provide an online classroom with virtual connections, home tasks, files, and conversations and even chat on your writing with your essay writer. Once the software is set up, the educator can create his/her own class in it, add students, share lessons, create tasks, communicate in real-time, assess students’ work, and provide feedback.
Here are some tips for teachers to begin:
- Share your screen to present the lesson and use the chat feature to ask questions and get responses from your students.
- Share your system audio to demonstrate films and diverse video materials.
- Moderate the discussion by muting students, making them presenters, or removing them from the meeting, if necessary.
- Record the lesson in case some students are not able to join the live session so that they can review it on their own time.
- Create and grade quizzes to evaluate students’ work.
- Provide your students with information about your office hours and time when you are accessible to answer their questions and provide them with extra information.
- Encourage students to share messages, help them understand tasks, enable them to follow along, and get engaged.
- Come up with some Fun Channel. It can be a poetry reading group or a virtual science fair. This is an excellent option for students of all ages.
Getting Support For Educators
Microsoft strives to support educators with practical guides and the necessary information about the software that will help empower them and motivate and engage their students. Therefore, they have come up with a number of webinars that can be accessed on demand by teachers to get started on Microsoft Teams. They also launched a Remote Learning Community where teachers from many countries share the best pieces of advice, and the Microsoft Education team answers questions in real-time. All these links are accessible on the Microsoft official web-page.
How To Help Students Stay Engaged
Keeping students involved and concentrated can be a challenging task, especially for those transitioning to remote learning. Both parents and teachers have to support students.
Here are some useful pieces of advice from successful educators who have already created healthy and productive learning environments that allow students to thrive in virtual learning:
- Stay healthy and vigorous. It is vital to take breaks between classes to get adequate rest, nutrition, exercise, take a walk, or just switch your attention to anything else.
- Stay concentrated. Find a quiet place for their classes where they can concentrate without any distractions. Turn off all the notification on your mobile phone and turn the sound off, as well.
- Schedule specific times in your day to devote to studying or participating in study sessions. Prioritize your work. Start working on every assignment early.
- Stay connected with your classmates. Going to school is essential from a social standpoint. When students do not meet their friends face-to-face, it can be depressing for them. Scheduling a virtual lunch session with your class-fellows to stay connected.
- Stay motivated. Take part in the Fun Activities channel. You can share your creations on this channel.
- Connect with your teacher, instructor, coach, or advisor personally. It can be challenging to cope with the learning process without seeing the educator in person, so connecting personally is crucial. You can get support from the teacher tete-a-tete in a chat, in a safe space to ask questions and get help if necessary.
- Know what tools are needed. Depending on the class, you will probably require different kinds of tools to process the lesson. Make sure to check the list of software used for classes.
- Take your work seriously. Avoid any distractions. Be clear with others about your boundaries. Tell all your family members and roommates that your classes deserve some of your time, and stay consistent.
- Stay calm. Do not stress out too much about all these changes. The situation is changing rapidly from day to day, and we are all learning as we go. You will definitely be able to adapt to everything that comes your way.
We hope these tips from educators will help create an inspiring remote educational environment where both teachers and their students will stay connected. Microsoft support team is available to answer questions that educators may have around remote learning. Hopefully, this transition will become more comfortable with such efficient software.
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