Online teaching options have grown from almost entirely college course offerings to full-online K-12 and special education instruction. Educators of all grade levels have more opportunities to work online than ever before. The delivery methods are evolving rapidly to accommodate this online instruction, and teachers often find themselves struggling without access to familiar in-person tools. During the transition to online education, teachers need to remain creative and flexible. Any disorganization in the lesson plans or failures with technology can create a disconnect with students, literary and emotionally. The best teachers try to anticipate these problems and have solutions in place. Here are six products that can help educators become better with online instruction.
Every workspace is subjected to the occasional power outage or fluctuation in current. When these interruptions occur, the internet router and your computer equipment will lose power. Valuable teaching time is lost when teachers scramble to bring up devices and log back into systems. Students are left wondering when the instructor will return.
An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a great solution. For home use, these devices are compact and affordable. With a UPS, the router, computer, monitor, and other essential devices are plugged directly into the unit. The unit will supply power for several hours in an emergency by using internal stored batteries. A UPS also protects devices from power surges. For the online teacher, a backup power source is a must.
A tiered monitor stand can aid with fatigue and course organization. By lifting the monitor to eye level, your neck isn't constantly bending down to look at the monitor, and better eye contact is maintained with students. Tiered stands create open space beneath the monitor. Use the space to store lesson plans and materials needed for the class. A good stand also has drawers or side pockets to keep supplies like dry-erase markers and pencils. The key to an excellent online session is being organized and having the tools needed readily available.
Sufficient lighting is essential for providing good online instruction. Household lamps and overhead lighting are options, though not always the best. Ring lighting is an option to consider. Ring lights are LED or fluorescent lights that surround a hoop or a ring. They provide a cost-effective way to remove shadows and evenly light the instructor's face and documents. Students enjoy seeing the teacher's face and emotions. As an added benefit, ring lights minimize wrinkles and blemishes. For online teaching, find one that attaches to the top of the monitor.
When working from home, a headset with a microphone and noise-canceling capabilities is essential. The headset blocks out distractions like a barking dog from a neighbor's apartment or a lawnmower outside the window. The microphone ensures students hear the teacher's words and instructions clearly. Choose a wireless headset for maximum flexibility and prior to making a decision, try on several for fit and weight.
These items have come a long way since first introduced in the market. Today erasable boards are available in many shapes and sizes. Some are now made of glass. Look for an erasable board that fits in the space between the laptop and your remote keyboard. Use the board to write down the day's lesson plan or to jot down students' comments. The optimally sized board, placed strategically, will eliminate scraps of paper lying on the desk.
Every teacher utilizes files. A rolling filing cart is a great solution to a stationary file cabinet in another room. When online, keep the cart near to access the things needed without walking into another room.
In the last few years, the number of employees working from home has grown exponentially. More and more teachers have been asked to instruct online courses. If you're teaching from a home office, stock your workspace with these six products. Your job will be made more manageable, and you can become a better online educator.
Publish Date: May 11, 2021 4:10 AM