Technology Review: Classroom 2.0 Tutorial for Teaching Online
By Christy S. Martin, Ed.D.
Since America began teaching remotely in March, no one has come up with a how-to professional development series that is comprehensive, easy to understand and easily prepares teachers to teach online. No one until now, that is. I was struck by the simplicity of the video series that I just watched. Classroom 2.0 is easy to use even for someone like me, who is not the most tech savvy of users. From the beginning, the narrative was clear, easy to follow and gave enlightening information in small palatable pieces.
From the initial, “Setting Up the Classroom,” to the tips at the end, I was able to follow the instructions that would provide even the most reluctant online teachers a vehicle for teaching success.
The lessons continue with how to use the software tools for online meetings. Instructions for how to use Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Go ToMeeting, and WebEx are simple but give enough detail for the user to be able to find the settings for audio, video, participant lists, and chat.
The frightening task of “Configuring the A/V” gives practical tips on switching between sources, speakers, headsets, muting and unmuting as well as many others. All the screens are shown on the videos as well as examples of what different settings can do.
“I would highly recommend it for all teachers and encourage school districts to secure a copy for every teacher.”
Other instructional videos continue with explanations for using Google Meet, chats, and how to maintain both student and teacher privacy in an online environment. The videos also help with the instructional side of technology, being deliberate in how you use videos and when you show them. And, unlike some tutorials for teachers, the instructors model what and how they are telling you is best practice in online teaching.
The instruction continues with topics like troubleshooting, how to set up a background, how to keep student attention and interest and using whiteboards. Of special interest to educators will be the 3Cs: Connection, content, and call to action. Tips and timely information are even given on how to record lessons and how to record on your cell phone and transfer that to the computer.
The videos end with a rap up that is just as practical as the previous videos. There are 14 tips that are necessary for online teaching success and comfort and will encourage those just beginning to work at home. This series is the most practical I have seen. It is step by step, can be watched in 8 to 15-minute segments or all at once. The segments are also broken apart and clearly labeled and can be reviewed when the teacher hits a snag. It is not too much for the average instructor to comprehend in just a few settings, is upbeat, and will encourage teachers that may not love working or teaching from home. However, all that watch it will get something from it and they will be more effective and confident in their instruction. I would highly recommend it for all teachers and encourage school districts to secure a copy for every teacher. Individual courses are $29.95 and there is a discount for schools and districts.
About the author
Christy Martin recently retired with 30 plus years of experience as an educator in K-12 and higher education and another 6 years in social service for foster youth. She considers advocating for at-risk youth a calling. Since retiring in February, she has returned to her love of writing, currently practicing.