To transform your in-person classroom delivery into digital, remote learning opportunities, there are a range of tools available. In this article, I look at teaching methods in the classroom and share a few tools you can use to quickly and easily transform your planned classroom lesson into something that empowers students and teachers.
If your organisation uses a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) or Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, then you already have the tools available to deliver quality teaching and learning remotely.
Microsoft Teams provides the perfect platform for you to communicate effectively with your students. If you don’t already have a Teams site setup, it’s quick and easy. If you setup a Class Team, you will have the ability to set assignments via Teams. Teams allows peer-to-peer or teacher-to-student chat, collaboration, video calls, and online meetings. It stores chats and files securely and the search bar allows the user to quickly find what they need.
If you don’t have Microsoft Teams, then email could be used to enable communication with your students. Depending on your school, college, or university policy regarding teacher-to-student communications, you may also be able to post updates and links to students and/or parents using a social media platform.
Create remote and on-demand lessons
PowerPoint Recorder allows you to record audio, video, and digital ink over your PowerPoint presentations. These can then be published to Microsoft Stream or exported as a video to upload to another video hosting site. You can then use your chosen communication method to send these out to students or post them to Teams or VLE.
In traditional classrooms, students would work together on documents, sometimes digitally but often on paper. When working remotely, Office 365 can provide the tools needed to enable students to work together collaboratively across a range of devices. It updates in real-time, meaning collaboration and feedback is instant.
Other tools you could use to allow your students to collaborate include Sway and OneNote. If you’re using a Class Team then you will already have a Class Notebook area. Class Notebook helps you be more organised with a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities.
Visually striking digital stories can be created with Sway. These can also be built by a group of students via a collaboration link.
Digital questioning and assessment
There are many tools you can use for questioning and assessment but depending on whether you’d like to review the understanding later, or get more creative, you could use Quizzes in Microsoft Forms or Flipgrid videos.
Flipgrid is quick and easy to set up, you create a Grid and Topics and share these with your students. Leave instructions and link resources on the topics, so students understand what they need to do. You can even create advanced rubrics for assessing your student’s contributions.
Microsoft Forms can be used to create multiple choice quizzes, which can then be added to Teams or shared with students to complete. You can view the summary of responses for the class or view individual student results. The form settings allow you to change whether the students can have multiple attempts and they’re quick to create and share.
Whichever selection of tools you choose to use, there is support available to help you transition from teaching in the class to teaching online. It may seem daunting at first but remember the first day you stepped into the classroom and how you felt then and this is no different to that, but now your classroom is virtual!
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About the author
Elaine has worked for over 10 years in education, delivering ICT qualifications and training in Further Education, Higher Education, community learning, and apprenticeships. She now works as a Senior Learning Technologist at the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education. In the role, she helps more than 400 academic staff implement technology solutions in the classroom, as well as fully integrating Office 365 technologies into the work processes of support staff. As a MIE Expert and active member of the Microsoft Educator Community, Elaine drives the adoption of learning technologies throughout the Grimsby Institute and provides Microsoft Office Specialist training and support for staff development. Dedicated and passionate, Elaine recognises the growing need for digital capabilities within teaching, and believes that with the right support, technology creates better learning experiences.