Virtual Teaching Hacks for the Win!

Want to save time, stimulate engagement, and make your life a little easier?  Up your virtual teaching game and check out these seven hacks that will help you get the job done with style!

Classroom Picture for Zoom Background

Tweet from Jen Roberts "Teachers, if you get to go to your classroom, take a picture of your teaching space and use it as the virtual background for your zoom office horus. #onlinelearning #onlineeducation #distancelearning"

Using your classroom picture for your Zoom background is an awesome idea for your virtual lessons. Your students can see their classroom while learning remotely. It brings a sense of unity and familiarity that can provide some much-needed warmth to the new normal.

Chromebook Split Screen for Multi-Tasking

Theresa Grish Zuzzio shared a post. "I haven't tried this yet but thought I'd share. TEACHERS with kids on Chromebooks: here is a life changing announcement. If they click Alt and the [ button at the same time, it will allow them to split their screens into 2 tabs with no extension needed!!! So they can be on the meet and look at their work at the same time!"

Remote learning has produced its own set of unique challenges. One of those annoyances seems to happen a million times each lesson. The need for a split screen and kids having no clue how to minimize the Zoom lesson so they can find their assignment or internet browser. On a Chromebook you can actually hit the Alt key and [ button at the same time and it will split the screen. This way the student can watch the class AND be on another window at the same time.

White Noise in the Background

Instragram post of icons representing white noise options

Barking dogs, doorbells ringing, toddlers in the background trying to get your attention, the list goes on. Working from home is great except when it comes time for actual work. Background noises can be a huge distraction for students in online classrooms. Check out some free apps that have excellent white noise/background noises that you can use to help minimize distraction. They can really help to block out the background noises of your home and family life and keep your students on task.

DIY Document Camera

Teaching hack for virtual learning without a document camera. Just wanted to share with you. It may help some teachers who don't have a document camera. This is my little creation, hope it helps someone. All you need is a cd, pencil, tape, and a quarter. The pencil is taped on the back just so it can hold the cd. The quarter is to weigh the cd down so it can pick up the imagine from the keyboard. This works on zoom. Instead of the kids looking at you when you place the cd on a pencil it reflects what's on your keboard, anything on your keyboard can be seen. When you want them to look at you again pick up the cd. May also help students show their work to a teacher while on camera.

There is no need to go out and purchase a document camera….you can rig one up with the items you have laying around your home. When teachers want to teach, there is no such thing as “can’t”! Using a quarter, pencil, CD, and some tape, you can create a makeshift document camera to teach your students. The reflective side of the CD acts as a mirror to reflect the document you place on your keyboard into your laptop camera.

Whiteboard Teaching Template – Expo Erases Sharpie

An Instagram post about teaching students how to tell time. There's a whiteboard and clock.

How often do you have to write, erase, repeat, throughout the course of one class? It’s crazy. But, using a whiteboard and a Sharpie marker, you can actually create a teaching template that isn’t permanent, believe it or not. The Sharpie cannot be erased with a whiteboard eraser. So, you can write with your dry erase markers, wipe, and write again without erasing your Sharpie template. However, when the lesson is over and you are done with your template, all you have to do to make the template disappear is to write over the Sharpie with an Expo marker to erase. The Expo marker makes the Sharpie come off just like a typical whiteboard marker. Genius!

Create a Fun Backdrop

An Instagram post from mrspricekindergators wearing a silly hat and decorations in the background

Have a little fun with your home workspace and add a bulletin board behind your desk. Just like when you would decorate your classroom door to entice the kids to enter and use their imaginations, you can do the same thing with the background of your Zoom meeting. Decorate your bulletin board to fit the lesson, holiday or seasonal theme, or whatever you think your students would enjoy.

I hope that you found something here to make your day a little bit more fun and a little bit easier. Check out more time saving teacher hacks for remote instruction here, and if you are looking for a fun remote field trip idea, check out our post, Free Virtual Tours to Add Some Adventure to Remote Learning.

 

Author

Jenna Garvin has been a freelance writer since 2006 and really enjoys writing for a variety of online publications. As a self-taught website designer, she works with local (and non-local) businesses to bulk up their online presence. You can find her at www.JennaGarvin.com.

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