Last year, the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) adopted Microsoft Teams for virtual classrooms. The work was easy for some teachers, but it was a very difficult task for others.
Faced with this situation, it is important for teachers to be trained in free online courses offered by public and private institutions, in order to take advantage of all the possibilities offered by the tool.
To use Microsoft Teams, the primary key is planning, and this allows you to perform actions in advance, for example, select and organize files you want to share with students, create teams within the group channel, schedule meetings for the entire period, choose tools to integrate into practice such as forms To take short formative tests with the application in question; Or set up polls with the Polly app to check if they understand the topic during class, and divide the group into subgroups, so they can collaborate during the synchronized session.
For the class to be engaging and the communication is good, the first thing to do is to prepare the activities that you want to include to facilitate learning. There are tools that allow you to play and learn during the virtual session, for example: mural NS kahut, which integrates with Microsoft Teams, but can be used from the web.
“In order to prevent their bandwidth from decreasing, we can ask them to turn the cameras on for a few minutes and turn them off when they interact in another way, such as when they complete a survey. This allows limiting the possibility of disconnection. Also, ask people using the same internet connection not to Use it, as much as possible, while the student is participating in their simultaneous session,” he explained. Christian Sebaga, Director of Synvotech University.
If other platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet are used, it should be considered that they are synchronous communication tools, but it is important to complement them with other spaces where files and tasks can be shared in an organized manner, such as Google Classroom NS Moodle.
Regardless of the platform used, the teacher must be creative and command the class’s attention. Taking quizzes, smart questions and calling each student by their name at least once during class is vital.
It is important for the teacher to make sure the student is in the classroom and is attentive. Here storytelling is very important, capturing short stories for students is a way to get their attention.
“Virtualism offers many possibilities, it is not just a matter of moving the classroom face to face into synchrony as if it were a copy. The circumstances are different and different mediation strategies must be applied. It is necessary for the facilitator to show his face and for the screen to allow the students to visualize some movements of their teacher so that they focus their attention on the message On the other hand, as far as possible, backgrounds should not act as distractions, such as “animated” backgrounds. There should be audiovisual elements on the screen, such as slide shows or videos; and it is important to ensure that this screen is the main focus of students, Depending on the app they are using,” he added Sebaga.
At this time, platforms are competing for the same benefits, so their functionality is very similar in terms of tools that can be used during video conferencing. In all of them you can write in a conversation, and they can be divided into small working groups during sessions.