*Links below are specific to WWCSD and only available to those with district accounts*
With school moving to a remote learning environment, many if not most or all teachers have been using video communications with their students. This type of communication for education is new for the vast majority of teachers, students, and families. As we have all gained more experience with using this form of communication, we have naturally learned a number of Do’s and Don’ts. The most important being in regards to security and safety. Here are some best practices to follow while having video meetings with students.
- Set Video Conference Expectations (View Sample Student Expectations)
- All participants should be in a common area of the home (be aware of your surroundings)
- Regular classroom behavior expectations should apply
- Students should start muted and only unmute when speaking
- Be aware of Video Conferencing Limitations (both you and students)
- Videos use a lot of bandwidth. The more conferences happening in a given place (ie working from home, multiple students, etc) can cause lag and delays
- The larger the group is, the more likely you are to have video and audio issues, based on internet speeds.
- Record lessons (possibly in “chunks” for easier searching) for students to watch on their own time (or reference later.) Use “live meetings” for check-ins and discussion (See below)
- Remember that teachers are mandatory reporters – protect yourself and your students. Have a second adult in the meeting with you, preferably as a co-host (if possible)
- Secure your meetings (Google Meet security recommendations)
- Record meetings due to the potential need to maintain it as an educational record (FERPA/COPPA – federal regulations) (See below)
- Share personal information or account details with a group of students
- Forget that not everyone is able to have the same schedule due to household dynamics – not every student should be expected for group meetings
Why are you recommending teachers pre-record lessons to post for students and not record and post a live session?
In short, because it comes back to what your goal is with posting the lesson. You may be describing or demonstrating a new concept. Would posting a short lesson video give your students better understanding?
When you post recordings, keep in mind – how do you want your students to experience your lesson?
Pros of posting just a lesson:
- Focused only on the concepts demonstrated or described
- Allows for quicker reference if posted in “chunks” (rather than a longer video the student may have to skim to find the information they need)
- Can be referenced/reused in future years if we are ever in a hybrid or virtual situation again (since no students are visible/present)
With this new virtual learning platform, we are all learning together. We still need to keep student safety (FERPA/COPPA) in mind when meeting with students. Recording lessons for later reference may be the best option to allow students to be introduced or practice a new concept.