• Here are some important tips for teachers, students and parents on preparing for an effective virtual classroom.

Setting up a virtual classroom can be a challenging task, mainly because it involves technology and differs vastly from the age old practice of a standard classroom setting.

Today schools, teachers, students and parents are adapting to this new normal- “virtual classrooms.”

The following guidelines will be handy for teachers, students or parents into the online ways of teaching and learning:


A Computer, Internet is a Must

First and foremost, a basic technologically sound infrastructure in your home is a must to get started. 

A PC or a laptop, preferably with a high definition camera and a powerful mic, is crucial for online classrooms.

Without a computer at your disposal, starting a virtual classroom is difficult. Try to invest on a good, Intel based personal computer which comes with inbuilt webcams and microphones.

The next key requirement is a fast and high bandwidth broadband connection. 

As a backup, investing in a high-speed WiFi dongle will be very useful in avoiding any disruptions or cancellations due to power cuts or low internet speed.


Pay Attention to Aesthetics

Online masterclass experts say that aesthetics like lighting and the background are two very crucial factors to set up a virtual classroom.

Normal room lighting, often dim, may not be the best option to rely on.

Instead, choose to allow natural sunlight into your workspace, or have bright lights focused on you to uplift the setup. 

Meanwhile, the background should be plain, bright and decluttered for the focus to be completely on the person.



Choose the Right Platform

Things to keep in mind while choosing the right software or digital tools are: accessibility, safety, pricing, efficiency, convenience and features. 

Online webinar platforms such as Zoom, WebEx or Google Classrooms are proving to be an increasingly effective method of hosting or attending meetings as more and more schools and corporates use them. 

They consist of all features and also provide an on-screen whiteboard feature to sketch or explain an abstract concept.


Use Digital Tools

In addition, you may need few online tools and cloud collaboration platforms like Google drive and Microsoft Teams for discussion threads, document/notes sharing, assignments storing, accessing and sharing files. 


Virtual classrooms allow teachers to deliver one-on-one or group learning while supporting student directed activities and giving them the opportunity to supplement their learning with several other resources. 
Technology is a wonderful tool for teachers to customize and personalize the learning experience, anytime, anywhere and for everyone!
Source: Times of India