10 Tips to facilitate online class

(日本語) (This post is published as translation of tweets by @soulful_teacher with his 2-years experience to facilitate online class by Zoom)

I’m sure there are a lot of teachers across the country who want to somehow connect kids with each other and are thinking of using Zoom to do their class.
Although Offline class and Zoom class may appear similar, they’re really different.
Here are 10 tips that will help your Zoom class work!

0. the cycle of warm-up → Zoom class→ cool-down
In order to have a good Zoom class, it is essential to have warm-up (to motivate the students before Zoom) and cool-down (to reflect on the good and happy points after Zoom). If you make it easy for them to warm and cool, they will be more willing to participate in Zoom class.

1. When a student enters the class, always say “name + greeting”.
I’m sad when I get in Zoom class but nobody react to me.
In offline class, greeting is a high priority in Japan. But in Zoom class, it’s low for some reason. Children can participate better if they feel they’re acknowledged by their teachers like, “xxx-san, good morning!”

2. Make use of the chat function!
One of the differences between offline class and Zoom class is that it’s a high hurdle to speak out on Zoom.
Speaking in Zoom = Raising your hand in front of the whole class
That’s why so many students have trouble talking.
That’s where the fun comes in.
Teacher asks a question → Student chats
This is quite a turnout and fun!

3. Use the “Mute All” function to control the sound of the Zoom!
If there are 20–30 people in the Zoom and everyone has a microphone on, it will pick up the sounds of life and so on, making it harder for the speaker to speak and harder for the listener to hear. Mute everyone, depending on the situation. It’s a circle for everyone.

4. “Virtual background” makes it easy and fun to participate
Zoom has a function called “Virtual Background” which allows you to set the background of your screen freely.
It’s fun in itself, you don’t have to clean up your room, and you even have privacy.
When you tell your students this, it creates a fun atmosphere and lowers the hurdle for them to show their faces.

5. “High Tension & Overreaction” is a teaching technique
Don’t talk the way you always do offline classes when you’re doing Zoom classes.
In order to share a good time with your students through the camera and microphone, have twice more tension and three times more overreaction than the ones you do on offline classes. That’s the very basics in the Zoom.

6. Unmute All! (We all have time to speak up.)
Sometimes unmuting everyone is fun. After all, it’s boring to just listen to it all the time. It’s exciting for students just to have their own microphones turned on!

7. try to change the name freely
You can customize the name field freely and use it unexpectedly. “Favorite food + name,” etc.

8. ask “other teachers” to participate as guests
Students are happy to meet on Zoom class teachers they know (it’s interesting how different it is from the way they usually meet), and it’s a good stimulus to have your grade or subject teacher or principal participate as a “guest”. Depending on the situation, you can call an expert to help you explore.

9. When doing group work, give detailed instructions on how to proceed.
It’s difficult to have a discussion with more than 10 people on Zoom, so a breakout session is recommended when discussing. With this feature, group work can be done with 30 participants in a room of 5 x 6 groups. But we need to give instructions for progress

Example of instruction A (for new students, self-introduction work)
A. “The person who went to bed the second-fastest yesterday is the facilitator” (everyone writes at the same time in the chat)
B. Introduce yourself in the order designated by the facilitator
Introduce yourself as follows: ○○, △△△, □□□
C. One minute for each person to introduce themselves.
When you have more time, ask the person
D. 5 minutes of group work.

Example of instruction B
(Work to come up with ideas for Class Zoom.)
A. The facilitator is the person whose birthday is close to today’s in group
B. The facilitator brings the group together by listening to their opinions.
C. Presenting ground rules (don’t make fun of people’s opinions)
D. 10 minutes of group work.
E. Back to the entire Zoom class, the facilitator writes the group’s opinion in the chat

10.HR with Zoom is still untapped! Let’s try and error and enjoy the process!
There are teachers all over the world who are struggling to figure out how to create a connection between children’s learning and each other in order to combat coronation. I hope more teachers than ever can work together to create a good education!

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