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How to Teach Remotely with Free Conference Calling & Other Tools for Teaching
20
Aug

How to Teach Remotely with Free Conference Calling & Other Tools for Teaching



Technology offers many benefits to individuals, but one of its greatest uses is in education.

Remote teaching is growing at a startling rate. As of 2017, 6 million students were enrolled in distance learning education. The growth is leading to new measures and platforms created for the sole purpose of exchanging information online, a necessity for teaching remotely and on-campus.

Thus, finding the right tools for teaching across geographies is becoming vital.

Are you an instructor or teacher? Would you like to find ways to enhance your in-person class or demonstrate topics remotely? If so, this article is for you.

The 6 Tools for Teaching Every Instructor Needs

These programs create the perfect combination of learning styles, convenience, and ease of access for both students and teachers. Add each to your teaching toolbox and you'll be amazed at how much easier it is to convey information.

Conference Calls

If you're looking for high audio quality and a teacher-friendly service, ConferenceTown.com has it all.

We offer a number of features ideal for a classroom setting:

  • No reservations or time restrictions
  • A question-answer process where callers "raise their hand"
  • An unlimited number of callers
  • Free call recording
  • Active talker indicators
  • A presentation mode that mutes all callers except for the presenter

Entire classes can connect through this platform in an organized, efficient manner. Furthermore, the interface is easy to use.

Best of all, it's completely free.

Conference calls are excellent for students (and educators) who don't want to get out of their pajamas but are ready to participate in group discussion. Further, the recording option makes it very useful to students scrambling to take notes. Teachers can distribute the recording to help students study.

Assessments

Teaching online with the right tools is an engaging, wonderful experience if it's done correctly. But sometimes, things get lost in translation or are harder to explain over the internet than in the face-to-face classroom.

Socrative is one such tool that aids with assessing a class's understanding. With it, teachers create questions, quizzes or games on the fly. They can have up to 150 students in an online "classroom," where they can further break pupils into groups or teams.

Students provide answers instantly, and instructors view their responses in real time. Socrates also analyzes the responses to help teachers gauge student comprehension.

It's a great way to anticipate what needs to be re-covered or where any misunderstandings are hidden.

Virtual Whiteboard

Virtual whiteboards allow teachers to mimic a classroom setting where instructors are sitting next to a student while both pore over the same document. In real-time, these programs allow users to make changes via Mac or tablet that the other sees and responds to.

BaiBoard is the perfect app for recreating this setting online. It offers several advantages:

  • A cloud-based whiteboard
  • Built-in voice conferencing
  • PDF collaboration

In cases where explanations and real-time examples are helpful, such as math or science, a virtual whiteboard is priceless. BaiBoard is an excellent option for one-on-one tutoring.

No matter what you teach, being able to collaborate in real-time on the same document is advantageous for students and educators. English teachers can suggest revisions and improvements on papers while science or math instructors can clarify processes that may be confusing online.

Digital Homework

Creating homework documents, then uploading and downloading them is a hassle for instructors and students alike. With Squid Notes, these time-eaters are eliminated.

Instead, teachers import PDF worksheets, which the users write directly on and send back. Most conveniently of all, teachers can mark up the returned homework.

Taking it a step further, Squid Notes allows students to send in notes or other documents electronically, too. Students use it for taking notes, editing pictures, creating artwork and more. Teachers use it as a virtual whiteboard, for presentations, and grading.

Many schools use a learning platform through which students submit homework. However, providing feedback on these programs and setting up the assignment is cumbersome and time-consuming.

Squid Notes and other such software offer the same convenience of handing out a paper assignment and receiving it with the student's input. It's a simpler, quicker alternative for students and educators. Furthermore, it gives students greater opportunities in areas like math, where handwriting solutions are preferable to typing.

Recordings and Tutorials

Diving into the world of Camtasia is daunting at first. Users are let loose in an interface with a complicated display of buttons, resources and intricate workings.

But once you understand how to utilize the software, you can tackle online presentations as you never have before.

With Camtasia, educators are able to easily import PowerPoint slides and record themselves lecturing. They can annotate, incorporate callouts, embed videos and even add quizzes mid-lecture.

The captioning options are particularly helpful for adhering to online class regulations, and the screen recording option is priceless for tutorials.

Best of all, Camtasia permits users to edit their own work, omitting any slip-ups or errors, and even track results.

The main con to Camtasia is its hefty price tag. It rings in at about $150, although educators do receive discounts for purchasing it.

Camtasia is excellent for tutorials or online lectures because of its versatility. Teachers can craft professional and interesting lectures with or without video of themselves. Always save your drafts to reuse and modify for future classes.

Lectures

Even with all these fancy new platforms, PowerPoint remains a staple program for lectures.

It allows educators to create visually-appealing slides with text, art, animation, audio, and video. It's easy to use, great for student projects and compatible with a number of outside software programs.

Further, PowerPoint is ideal because most teachers already have it. It comes pre-loaded on basically any device that has Microsoft.

Keep PowerPoint slides simple. Focus on the audience, not the technology. Students cannot copy text-strewn slides while listening to additional information the teacher provides.

Teaching Like a Pro

With these six online tools, your students will be wowed by the conveniences an online classroom affords them. Always keep in mind, however, the tools for teaching are less important than the teaching itself. Keep your eye on the prize for the best remote teaching experience, your students.

Want to learn more? Take a glance at our article that explains what presenters should do to create an engaging conference call.

Technology may be exhausting, but if you let it, tools like these can be one of the most exhilarating and fun components in your classroom.


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