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Online Teaching Tips

Online teaching has boomed in recent times, but it can feel a long way away from what you’ve been used to in your classroom and it can be hard to know if you’re having the same impact. Whether you’re just starting out or you are experienced with teaching online, there are plenty of new skills you can master to ensure you’re creating the best learning experience. Take a look at our tips and tools to help you to build your confidence and shape how you teach online. 

Professional responsibilities

Communication and engagement tips

Planning, structure and running a great session

Building your skills and confidence

 

Technology and learning environment

 

 

Your home environment

Getting your environment right is the best starting point. You need to be comfortable in a space that allows you to focus and do your best work, with natural light and free from distractions. In addition, you’ll need: 
  1. Laptop/computer. In order to use online teaching technology you need to be using a laptop or computer as your primary device. You can add a tablet as a secondary device, as explained below. 
  2. Google Chrome. To teach online with Teaching Personnel, you need to use the latest version of Google Chrome. Chrome is the only browser that provides full support for the cutting-edge technologies we use to let you effectively communicate with students, share resources and record sessions. Chrome can be downloaded on to any laptop or computer, whether it's a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or running Linux.  If you are using an iPad, you will need to use safari.  
  3. Microphone. In order to talk to each other, you'll need a microphone. Most laptops have a microphone built in. 
  4. Internet connection. You will need a good internet connection for a smooth experience. If your internet is slow, it will take too long for your voice to reach the other user and you won't be able to hold a proper conversation.  
  5. Optional extra: drawing inputs. Our technology is designed to work using just a computer and mouse but other devices can make drawing much easier. You can use a touchscreen laptop or a tablet - just enter the same room link in your default browser: Safari on iPad, Chrome on Android. 

Using the technology – introduction to our technology platform

For one-to-one tuition with individual pupils we provide you with access to a purpose-built platform called Bramble. The Bramble online classroom enables you to carry out teaching sessions with pupils, helping them to keep on track. Bramble provides a best-in-class learning experience for an individual student with all the tools you need to make each session interactive, enjoyable and successful.  

  • All sessions are recorded, fully searchable and provide a visual learning record. 
  • Bramble's functionality allows you to talk, sketch, share and record 

 

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Professional Responsibilities 

Teaching Personnel takes its responsibility seriously in relation to the safety of all those using online platforms to receive, deliver and track education. Pupils, teachers, tutors, parents, carers, commissioning bodies and Teaching Personnel are all actively responsible for ensuring the online safety of both children and adults in the virtual learning environment, by taking measures to protect them from harm and keeping themselves safe in the broader setting of the virtual world. It is important that all staff who interact with children, including online, continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. Any such concerns should be communicated to your local branch.

 

Safeguarding training

Online tutoring policy

 

Communication and engagement tips 

There are lots of challenges to teaching online. However, we also think the online environment presents plenty of opportunities! You will find that being able to spend more time focusing closely on an individual student makes the learning experience meaningful and rewarding. One of the biggest differences when teaching online is that attention spans are different.  

Variety  

Present work to students in a variety of ways to keep them engaged. For example, asking them to watch a video clip rather than just talking to them. 

Blocks of time 

Work in 15-20-minute blocks of time, much shorter than you would think about in a classroom. Think about gap tasks that can be followed up at the next session. 

Communication skills 

  • Spend some time building rapport 
  • The need for clear oral and written language is amplified online  
  • Think about the quality of your questions  
  • Think about discussion techniques 

Student participation  

The student should not be passive. They should be actively learning throughout the session e.g. making notes whilst watching a video and annotating on screen to validate learning. 

A great session is engaging and can be fun! 

There are a wealth of exciting games and content that can make even the dullest topic interesting and come alive.

Your energy and spark are infectious 

You will drive a lot of the session through your own energy and passion for learning. Your confidence in your home environment, use of the technology and a good session plan will allow you to be yourself and focus on your own strengths and capabilities. 

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Interested in hearing real-world tips and advice from experienced tutors? Bramble has reached out to tutors of the younger generation to put together this helpful resource, full of first-hand experiences. You'll hear about challenges experienced in online teaching, key differences between online and offline education and what the benefits are of online tutoring, plus much more.

Planning, structure and running a great session! 

  • Learning outcomes and goals  
    The objective for the session is the most important element. Sounds obvious, but what do you want the student to learn?  
  • Identifying resources, content and activities that can be consumed online 
    Match resources and content to the age, ability and interest of the student. How do you want them to learn? 
  • Designing a session 
    A session should always begin with a recap on previous learning, followed by delivery of the new content. Students should then be given an opportunity to practice the new skill and apply it. Take a look at the TES 5-point model to deliver online learning for more ideas on running a session.
  • Thinking about assessment/evaluation 
    How will you know if they have achieved the objectives? What will be the next steps? Consider setting a gap task to link sessions. 

Building Your Skills and Confidence  

We hope the tips and tools on these pages have been helpful. If you want to expand your knowledge and develop your skills further in the area of online teaching, we would recommend the following course: 

Free teaching online course through Open Learn 

 

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Register for online teaching

If you are a teacher or learning support assistant, you could be providing valuable online teaching work to keep pupils learning and engaged during school closures. Register for online teaching here. 

Have a question about the online classroom technology?

If you have any questions, check our our frequently asked questions page or contact your local branch

 

Online Classroom FAQs