For all ages (with parental technical support)
Some technical know-how required
Connecting with pupils from home in a live video chat requires some set up on both ends. However, Zoom is particularly popular at the moment as it relies mostly on the teacher to facilitate the meeting. In other words, when it’s all set up and ready to go, the pupils follow a streamlined and (hopefully) complication-free process to join in.
Firstly, the teacher needs to create a Zoom account. The simplistic interface is easy to use and so working out how to start a video call isn’t taxing at all. Zoom also provides a huge amount of support in the form of online tutorials. You can schedule a Zoom meeting or post a live invitation link. Sharing the link is easy enough. Simply copy the URL or the invitation itself and paste it in an email or on one of the online learning platforms. The pupils then click on the link and follow simple instructions to join.
When actually running a live video chat on Zoom you can ‘share your screen’. This is a great way of being able to run through learning materials with your entire class at once. You can share a keynote with everyone or take them through the important elements of some software.
Also, within the ‘share screen’ functionality you can choose to share an onscreen whiteboard. With this enabled, pupils can see live annotations. With a bit of practice, it is completely possible for educators to teach concepts on this whiteboard whilst they talk their learners through it at the same time. On top of all of this, Zoom has the capability to record the screen and audio of your video call whilst you are conducting your live lesson. This means that if anyone misses it, you can share the lesson afterwards. It really is a brilliant tool.