Due to the changes that we have had to implement during the COVID-19 crisis, communication has quickly evolved. Schools are using business texting services to communicate efficiently with families and keep records of conversations. Since many schools have been faced with having to temporarily close schools and end the academic year early, they have been faced with changing the venue in which they conduct classes to a virtual environment.
In the last few months, the traditional classroom setup has shifted to online lessons and virtual learning. The current situation has paved the way for remote teaching, which may sound convenient to some. However, many educators are left unprepared and haven't been able to cope with the sudden changes. They are still looking for the best venues where they can meet their students and conduct their lessons effectively.
Although virtual classrooms are not something new, it can take some time to familiarize their features. Of course, there is a wide range of impressive online communication channels to choose from, but you have to learn how to use them in creating an engaging virtual classroom experience. With that, here are seven ways to help you create interactive online learning for your students.
Partnering with a company that offers business texting services is the way to go to digitize communication and have the ability to schedule when messages are sent to ensure that parents and students are aware of all updates.
Let’s go over 7 Ways to Use Business Texting Services for Virtual Classrooms.
1. Establish the Online Communication Channels to Use
The number of available online communication venues can be overwhelming. So before starting your formal classes, you first need to choose which platforms work best for you and your students. For example, you can use Google Meet for class discussions, Hangouts and business texting services for daily SMS messaging, and Google Classroom where you can post assignments, schoolwork, announcements and updates.
The students need to know the purpose of every platform you use to avoid confusion. You are using more than one channel, which means it can get messy if you are not properly organized. You also need to establish a schedule for your meetings, deadlines of assignments and projects, and your availability for consultations. Additionally, you have to set guidelines when you are inside the virtual classrooms.
2. Plan Your Virtual Classes with Business Texting Services
Just like in conventional classroom learning, you have to make a plan for your online classes. It involves the lessons that students need to learn every week, related activities that students should do after the online class, test dates, and other activities for learning enrichment. You can create a schedule board and post it on the online learning platform where everyone can see it. Sending text messages with your business texting services to remind students and parents of scheduled online classes and assignments is the best way to ensure that instructions are clear to all. Sending updates and reminders regarding attendance and submitted tasks will also help you keep track of your students’ performance.
3. Take Advantage of Online Educational Tools
At first glance, virtual classrooms can look intimidating. But once you know how they work, you’ll be grateful for their innovations. One thing that makes them helpful is the availability of interactive tools. You can include presentations, graphs, slide shows, videos, and games in your virtual classes for a more engaging learning experience for the students.
Aside from that, you are free to experiment on other features to increase the engagement between you and the students. You can do them through your class discussions, group works, and individual activities.
4. Create a Backup Plan
Technical issues in virtual classrooms can happen from time to time, and sometimes, you have no way of fixing them. It’s for that reason why a backup plan is necessary. They can cause trouble unexpectedly, which messes up your lesson plan. Before anything goes into shambles, prepare a support plan on the side. You need to let your students know how to get in touch with you in cases when unforeseen technical problems arise.
5. Use Multimedia for Student Work or Online Teaching
One of the best things about virtual classrooms is the easy integration of multimedia or web content to your online learning setup. You have the option to use different kinds of medium such as images, videos, graphs, diagrams, and slide presentations. Employing multimedia in your teaching style can improve the learning process if you do it correctly. But you also need to consider the preferences and needs of your students to ensure that they can cope with your classes well.
6. Share Recordings of Your Online Classes
Another advantage of virtual classrooms is allowing you to record the virtual classes, which you can create and share as online resources. The students can use the recordings for tutorials and reviewers for upcoming examinations. The recordings can also serve as your class history that you can refer to if you have forgotten something. Although taxing, you can create transcripts for every recorded file for easy reference.
7. Ask Your Students for Feedback
Don’t forget to ask for your students’ feedback, especially if you doubt the effectiveness of the online learning experience. You can ask them after the discussions or through a poll or use your business texting services to send a link to a survey that you can post on your virtual classroom. Remember to take their comments constructively and use them to improve your classes in the future.
The transition to virtual classrooms is an immediate change, and many educators are still new to such setup. It’s going to take some time to adapt to the new learning environment, so first tries don’t always work the way we want it, and that’s fine. Don’t pressure yourself too much and just do the tips to make online learning a much better and more engaging experience.
Adapting to changes is only as seamless as you structure it and when you use business texting services you are adding a layer of efficiency that is both fast and convenient. For schools who are interested in partnering with a company that offers an SMS platform but are not sure how to implement it, Text My Main Number offers free training. You can also take advantage of the 14-day trial to test how effective this communication channel will be in conjunction with your setup of virtual classrooms.