2021 Year End Review

With COVID-19 still hanging around, many of us are ready for 2021 to end and we look forward to a healthy 2022.  At this time of year, we feel that it is a great opportunity to reflect upon the fantastic technology tools and topics that we explored throughout 2021.  A great resolution for 2022 is to integrate at least one new tool into your classroom environment.

Wakelet (Collaboration)https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2021/01/

Microsoft Clipping Tool https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2021/02/

Ziplet (Student Feedback)https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2021/03/

Zoom Classroom Lecture Recordingshttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2021/04/

Soundtrap (Podcasting & Collaboration)https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2021/05/

Teaching in Hyflex and Blended Learning Environments  – https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2021/06/

Canva (Collaboration) https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2021/07/

Let’s Get Ready for the New Academic Year – https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2021/08/

CountThings (Image Recognition & Machine Learning)https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2021/09/

Chrome Extensions (Momentum, Kami, InsertLearning, Google Keep, Just Read)https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2021/10/31/

Google Lens https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2021/11/30/

We look forward to exploring more teaching and learning technology tools throughout 2022.

© 2021 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Enhancing Learning and Productivity with Google Lens!

Google Lens is a free AI-Powered app that utilizes a smartphone camera with machine learning to identify and explain objects to users.  The Google Lens app is available for both Android and iOS devices.  While Google Lens has been around since 2017, the technology continues to evolve.  Essentially, Google Lens has gotten “smarter” over time.  Not only can Google Lens identify images, but it can also easily search, copy, and translate text.  For ELS students, the real-time translation feature can be beneficial.  Students snap a Google Lens picture of the desired text and utilize the Google Translate plug-in to complete the translation instantly.  Google Lens can also identify people, text, math equations, animals, landmarks, products, etc.  Sometimes Google Lens provides resources for further learning exploration, and other times, it gives the answers.

Some key Google Lens features that can benefit both students and instructors include:

Text Selection/Search Tool: This feature allows students to use Google Lens to take pictures and highlight text for later use on their phone or computer, using the “Copy to Computer” command.

Google Lens can capture any text, whether it is on a piece of paper, in a book, on a whiteboard, or website.  Once the text is copied to a smartphone, the information can then be pasted in external sources such as Google Docs, notes, email, or a chatbox.

Today, many students use their smartphones rather than computers for schoolwork.  Therefore, the text and search features enhance the phone’s usefulness.  Google Lens is also useful for quick lookup activities, such as defining unfamiliar words or technical jargon.  Finally, for other students who prefer audio rather than visual learning, Google Lens makes it easy for students to listen to any captured text.  

Homework Assistant Tool:  Students can use Google Lens as a homework assistant.  Students simply scan the question(s), and the app provides resources and/or answers.  For STEM courses, Google Lens combined with Socratic by Google typically includes step-by-step instructions that lead to the final answers. 

Using technology as a homework assistant can be either good or bad.  For students who use Google Lens as a homework assistant, the technology can help get them “unstuck,” which can be particularly helpful as students are learning a topic.  Using Google Lens in this manner keeps students moving forward in their learning process. 

However, a downside of Google Lens is the increased ability to cheat.  Using Google Lens, students can easily take a picture of an exam question to locate the answer.  Before writing this blog, sample questions were used with Google Lens.  The results indicated that publisher-created questions as well as recycled instructor-created questions often quickly located the correct answer.  With this type of technology, students who cheat no longer must enter a question into the search bar and then sort through resources for potential answers.  Instead, they can simply snap a picture of the question, and Google Lens will rapidly search the Internet for the solution.  Since Google Lens uses machine learning, it can sort through millions of sources quickly, and as our tests found rather effectively.  

Productivity Tool:  Google Lens can help students and instructors stay organized.  Information captured by a Lens image can be sent directly to an electronic calendar.  This Google Lens feature can be beneficial for students who struggle with due dates.  Google Lens can also be a helpful tool for instructors attending conferences or networking events.  Information collected with Google Lens (i.e., scan images, texts, bar codes, and QR codes) can be immediately transferred to a file for future reference or follow-up.

To get started or try Google Lens, download the app from your smartphone’s app store, or you can find the Google Lens icon on your Google Photos and Google Search Bar.  You can also find the download instructions at https://lens.google/.

©2021 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Increase Your Efficiency in the Classroom with Chrome Browser Extensions

With Chrome’s market dominance, many of us use the Chrome browser on a daily basis.  To improve your productivity and efficiency within your classroom environment, Cathy and I suggest exploring a few of the many Chrome extensions.  We recommend starting with the following innovative extensions: 

  • Momentum

Momentum is a free extension that can help add focus to your day.  Join over 10 million users who are utilizing Momentum as an all-in-one productivity tool.  Momentum sends friendly reminders of your important tasks, links, daily focus, and more.  Momentum will help you start and end each day focused on the task at hand.

  • Kami

Kami is the world’s number one digital classroom tool with complete assignment workflow.  Kami allows you to annotate and transform any document into an interactive learning space.  You and your students can collaborate in real-time through live annotations, video and audio recordings, drawings, and more.  Kami provides tools to support many learning styles, helps increase student engagement, and helps improve learning outcomes.  Teachers can spend more time with their students and less time on grading.  Kami allows you to provide feedback, grade, and push student work straight from your preferred LMS, including Google Classroom, Canvas, Schoology, and Microsoft Teams.

  • InsertLearning

InsertLearning allows educators to insert instructional content on any web page, which can save teachers and students time while helping keep students engaged.  Instructors have access to insert questions, sticky notes, discussions, and videos directly into any website.  When students go to that website, they can respond to those questions and discussions, see the videos, and take their own notes.  Also, InsertLearning has a feature that will allow students to engage each other in real-time.  Use InsertLearning to turn any website into an interactive learning experience.

  • Google Keep

Google Keep is a free, simple, and effective productivity and collaboration tool for both students and instructors.  If you want to be more organized, productive, and collaborative, Google Keep captures your notes and ideas, provides a collaborative sharing resource, and offers a great To Do List feature.  See our Google Keep (March 2019) Tip of the Month for more information.

  • Just Read

Just Read is a feature-packed and customizable reader view app.  With Just Read, you can reformat cluttered websites into cleaner, easy-to-read documents.  Just Read allows you to easily eliminate advertisements, popups, comments, and other web clutter when you pull content from web pages.  The finished product is a simplified, clean, and readable document that can be distributed to students.

To learn more about the many “free” Chrome extensions, click  https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions

© 2021 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

CountThings:  Bringing Image Recognition and Machine Learning to the Accounting Classroom

If you are looking for a free way to introduce students to how image recognition and machine learning can easily complete routine tasks, such as counting inventory, the CountThings app is just the tool. CountThings is a real-world tool used in various industries to simplify counting large quantities of items such as metal products, tubes, logs, lumber, pharmaceuticals, medical vials, livestock, animals, wildlife, and more. While the CountThings paid version is quite expensive, they do offer a free test version and provide sample templates that students can use to experience the app’s benefits. 

The free, demonstrator templates include Xs on white paper, coins, lines on notebook paper, and keyboard keys. All of these templates are normally easy for students to work with and access both in and out of the classroom.  I tend to use the coins template as it is easy for students to relate to counting coins and the time saved by automating coin counting.

To get started, students can download the CountThings app to their iOS, Android, Samsung, or Windows smart devices. Once the app download is complete, students can continue as a “guest” to utilize the free trial. Using the CountThings app is as simple as 1-2-3!

Step 1:  From the app, students select “Take New Photo” or “Use an Existing Photo”. Then students select the appropriate counting template. For example, if students are counting coins, they would select the “coin template”.

Step 2:  Students then click “Count”.

Step 3:  Finally, students review the count and take a screenshot, or they can select “Save”.

If you don’t want to use coins, have the students try the Xs on white paper, notebook lines, or keyboard keys counting template. All of these work the same way. Occasionally, the app will give students an inaccurate count, but if students repeat the process with a new picture, the inaccurate count is normally resolved.  

CountThings Coin Count Template Results

Because CountThings is a tool used in various industries, there are a few brief case studies available on their website that you could use for class discussions. Some other topics I’ve used for discussion include (1) the benefits and cost savings of image recognition and machine learning for inventory management, and (2) the accuracy or inaccuracy of this type of technology and why the template selection might affect the count.

CountThings is a simple and effective way to introduce accounting students to the real-world benefits of image recognition and machine learning applications. If you would like to try the CountThings app, download the app from your smart device’s app store.  To learn more about this technology and its real-world uses go to the CountThings website. Happy counting!

© 2021 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Let’s Get Ready for the New Academic Year!

At this time of year, we as educators begin to organize ourselves and make plans for the upcoming semester.  The COVID-19 pandemic forced many educators to utilize technology to deliver quality education.    This a great time to reflect on what worked well in a virtual environment and utilize technology that can help organize yourself and your classroom for the upcoming year.   Where should you start?  Cathy and I think that this is the perfect time to share how we stay organized and to recap some of our favorite and most useful technology tools.

To maintain easy access to our documents from anywhere or any device, Cathy and I utilize Dropbox for document cloud storage.  In addition, Dropbox allows us to easily share documents with anyone.  Other cloud storage services that we recommend are Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, and Apple iCloud.

In addition, a great note taking app is a must have for increasing productivity.  Both Notability and Evernote are tools that we utilize on a weekly basis.  Additional note taking tools that we recommend are GoodNotes, Google Keep, Notion, Microsoft OneNote, and Apple Notes.

Furthermore, Cathy and I utilize technology to convert our typical classroom into an interactive whiteboard environment.  Doceri allows our hand held devices to project images through the classroom overhead projector and to record our lectures.  Zoom has also become a great presentation tool for Cathy and myself.  Additional whiteboard and/or lecture capture technology that we recommend are Explain Everything, Educreations, ShowMe, Notability, Splashtop, Jamboard, Stormboard, Camtasia, Tegrity, Snagit, Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Whiteboard.

To increase student engagement in the classroom environment, Cathy and I utilize several polling and gamification technologies.  Poll Everywhere, Kahoot, Piazza, Sli.do, Socrative, Ziplet, Peergrade, and Mertimeter are a few of our favorite polling options.  These  student engagement technologies work great for on campus or online learning environments.

Cathy and I integrate many group team activities into our course curriculums.  Some of the technologies that we use to support the group workflow and grading are:  Canva, Soundtrap, Mural, GoSoapBox, Google Keep, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.  Another technology option to consider for team communication is Group Me.

If you are looking for technologies to introduce data analytics into your curriculum, Tableau and PowerBI are very user friendly tools.  In addition, Cathy and I describe how we introduce data analytics into our curriculum and our approach was published in an August 2020 article.

Finally, Cathy and I try to utilize technology to engage our students outside of our classroom lectures.  Some effective technology tools that we use to accomplish student engagement are: Wakelet, Kahoot Challenge, Flipgrid, Google Slides, and Recap.

We hope that you take this opportunity to discover at least one technology that can help you become more organized throughout the upcoming year.  We recommend checking with your institution to see if they currently provide any of these technologies at little or no cost to faculty.  Many technologies provide similar benefits; therefore, we identified several tools within each organizational category listed above.  We suggest utilizing tools that compliment your teaching style and that can be acquired for the least amount of resources.  Good luck and have a great academic year.

© 2021 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Bring More Collaboration, Creativity, and Engagement to Your Course with Canva

“You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.”
~Maya Angelou~

Since the shift toward remote learning, Markus and I have been asked numerous times about ideas and tools to bring more collaboration, critical thinking (creativity), and engagement to courses.  This month we are sharing Canva, a technology tool that allows students to creatively collaborate, and instructors to create appealing course materials that support engagement. Canva for Education provides numerous free resources for instructors and students, such as images, fonts, graphics, videos, animations, and visualization and educational templates.  Canva also provides students with a dedicated and safe workspace to share, review, edit, and comment in real-time. For instructors, Canva helps enhance the visual design of your course to create a more engaging learning environment.

While Canva is ideal for enhancing online learning, it also works well with in-person, hybrid, or hyflex course delivery methods.  Canva activities can be shared through your LMS or through applications such as Microsoft Teams. Canva allow students to work together whether viewing, editing, or sharing feedback.  Canva’s real-time functionality will enable students the flexibility to work synchronously or asynchronously as needed.  Canva also helps students stay connected and engage in any course. 

For remote learning, instructors can create a lesson with voiceover, then share it as a video link in their LMS or by email.  Students can also create videos or record themselves speaking in an assignment or project.  Every student in the course has a voice using Canva, whether submitting original work or providing feedback for classmates.

There are numerous ways to use Canva, and it is adaptable for every type of course. The following are just a few ideas that Markus and I would like to share:

  • Design Thinking: Are you looking for a way to implement and manage design thinking projects?  Canva allows students to collaborate on design thinking activities and then provide their insights in an infographic.
  • Portfolios: Canva is a great tool to help students create learning portfolios, reflect on their learning or store information to create a resume or CV.
  • Student Learning Plans: Student learning plans can help students become more aware and engaged in learning.  With Canva, students can set personal course goals, create self-study guides, plus highlight newly discovered interests from the topics covered in their course(s). In addition, asingle student or group of students can use Canva to share their portfolios, allowing for peer-to-peer feedback, which improves the learning process.
  • Group Projects:  Canva makes group projects more appealing.  Groups of ten (10) can be created for free. A Canva group makes it easier for group members to create, share, comment, and revise projects. Students can also engage by liking a group member’s work when no other feedback is required.   
  • Visualizations: Canva allows students to create text-or-image-based graphics, which can often illustrate formulas or problems found in accounting, mathematics, statistics, and the sciences better. For students who find quantitative subjects challenging to grasp, adding a creative, visual aspect to the activity can help these students more easily “connect the dots”. Canva alsooffers various templates that help students turn numbers into visuals that are easier to understand.
  • Reflections: Markus and I both provide students with opportunities to reflect in our courses.  Use Canva to perform a quick reflection, similar to a one-minute paper, or to create a more in-depth reflective course examination.
  • Pre-Class Activities: Encourage students to be prepared by visually summarizing a chapter or topic in Canva before class.  Remind (November 2015) or LMS Announcements help reinforce when the Pre-Class Activity is due so it gets completed.
  • Data Analytics: Charts and graphs help to demystify numbers.  You can add data analytics visualization to any course using Canva’s easy-to-use, fill-in-the-blank, visualization templates.  Canva is also a great way to have students explore visualization in a user-friendly environment before moving to more sophisticated visualization tools.
  • Flashcards: Create flashcards using Canva that can be used on a device or printed for additional practice.
  • Resumes: Resume creation is made easy with Canva. Students pick a layout and enter their data. Canva formats the document, selects the font, and suggests a suitable design.
  • Signatures: Many documents previously submitted in person prior to remote learning now require electronic signatures.  Teach students how to create their electronic signature using Canva.

For instructors, consider using Canva to create engaging and interactive presentations and assignments. Canva provides a wide range of assignment templates, including writing prompts, journal entries, book review designs, and word problems. In addition, create eye-appealing calendars, schedules, and anchor charts to help students stay on track during the course. Canva also lets you link created graphics to a webpage, in order to make the graphic interactive.  Simply, download your file as a PDF or webpage rather than as an image. QR codes can be added to any design to make it easier for students to access web content.

Canva is entirely COPPA and FERPA compliant, ensuring your student’s privacy and safety. Canva is also easy to use, and to get started.  Just send your students an invitation link through your LMS or email. Feeling a bit tech challenged?  There are numerous resources available to help you explore Canva as you look for new and exciting ways you can utilize this tool in your course(s).

Whether you want to utilize Design Thinking, incorporate Data Analytics, enhance project-based collaboration in your course, or create more engaging lectures and activities, Canva provides you the tools you need.  To explore what Canva for Education offers or set up your account, go to https://www.canva.com/education/.   You can also check out a brief summary about Canva for Education in the following video: https://youtu.be/3Axs47FT1-s

©2021 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Bring Your Course Content to Life with Wakelet!

If you are looking for a technology tool that will engage students and bring your course content to life, Wakelet is the tool!  Unlike some apps, there is only one version of Wakelet. The free version! Additionally, there are no limitations or required upgrades; instructors can create unlimited collections and spaces, invite an unlimited number of participants or contributors, and users can create multiple accounts if desired. 

Wakelet is easy to use and works seamlessly with most learning management systems. It also works with multiple other educational technology tools, such as Flipgrid (February 2018), Kahoot (November 2017), and Microsoft Teams (March 2018). It is accessible and inclusive. Partnered with Microsoft, Wakelet utilizes Microsoft’s Immersive Reader, which enhances accessibility and inclusivity in your courses. The text-to-speech reader is as simple as clicking an icon.  The Immersive Reader also provides language translation.

There are multiple ways to utilize Wakelet in a course. For instance, do you currently use student resource packets? You can easily convert these manual resource packets using Wakelet into engaging, online content.  Do you utilize Microsoft Teams with your students or colleagues? If so, you can share Wakelet Collections with team members. You can also bookmark or save links to your Wakelet Collections directly from Microsoft Teams.

Do you encourage students to become self-directed learners? If so, you can embed videos into Wakelet to explain a topic, allowing students to rewind and repeat the concepts as often as needed. You can even embed a self-assessment Kahoot quiz after a Wakelet learning activity. Allowing students to repeat assessments until they have mastered the concepts or have reached the assessment deadline. 

Flipgrid can also be used with Wakelet to create an engaging activity that facilitates class discussion. Create a discussion Q&A session or enhance your discussion board activities. This type of interactive engagement helps students improve their critical thinking and communication/collaboration skills. It also helps students learn to be concise with their responses.

Wakelet Spaces helps instructors get organized. For instance, you can organize your Flipgrid discussion responses by activity. This arrangement allows instructors to build a collection of discussion responses that students can use for future reflection activities. Additionally, today many students learn better when they can communicate verbally rather than in writing.  Wakelet, combined with Flipgrid, provides a simple way to give students oral formative assessments to showcase their knowledge.

Since many students use various mobile devices, Wakelet’s mobile app is convenient for students in remote learning environments. Mobile access allows students to collaborate across devices and from any location. Students can join a Wakelet Collection by scanning a QR Code, entering a Collection’s code, or pasting a Collection’s URL. Students can also utilize the app without creating a Wakelet account.  

From enhanced resource sharing, assessment, project collaboration to eFolios, Wakelet is a versatile tool that will enhance your teaching toolbox and improve your students’ learning experience. 

Are you ready to use this engaging technology tool? To get started, you can sign up for your free account at https://wakelet.com/. Be sure to check out Wakelet’s free templates and learning resources (blogs, guides, videos).

©2021 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

2020 Year End Review

Many of us are ready for 2020 to end and to turn the page to 2021.  As our semester and 2020 come to a close, we feel that it is a great opportunity to reflect upon the fantastic technology tools and topics that we explored throughout the year.  A great resolution for 2021 is to integrate one new tool into your classroom environment.

Mentimeterhttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2020/01/

Grammarly https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2020/02/

Remote Learning Tools for Successhttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2020/03/

Zoomhttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2020/04/

Go Soap Boxhttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2020/05/

Improve Your Virtual Meetings & Classroom Presentationshttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2020/06/

Accessibility Compliance Tools https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2020/07/31/

Futureproof Employees and Students with Data Analytics Training – https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2020/08/31/

Duet (Second Monitor Without a Cost)https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2020/09/30/

MURALhttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2020/10/

Krisp for Noise Free Meetings & Recordings https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2020/11/

We look forward to exploring more teaching and learning technology tools throughout 2021.

© 2020 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Futureproof Employees and Students with Data Analytics Training.

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.  Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” ~Bill Gates~

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed when you hear or read about disruptive technology changes coming to the field of Accounting?  If so, you are not alone.  We hear terms like AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), RPA (Robotic Process Automation), AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), Mixed Reality, Blockchain, Big Data, Data Analytics, Data Visualization, 3-D Printing-Additive Manufacturing, and IoT (The Internet of Things). We are told that these disruptive technologies will impact the future of accounting, but do we really need to worry about this now?  The answer is yes!  Changes in technology is going to disrupt the future of the accounting workplace and the time to adapt is now.  The future is here!

Download to read the remainder of our article that was published in the July/August 2020 edition of the MOCPA Asset Magazine.

Improve Your Virtual Meeting and Classroom Presentations

Toolbox

With the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been communicating fully or at least partially within a virtual environment.  Virtual delivery has allowed us to continue to connect and collaborate with students and co-workers while maintaining social distancing practices.  Throughout the past several months, we all have encountered good and poor virtual experiences, including meeting and screen fatigue.  Cathy and I have reflected on our personal experiences and we decided to identify some virtual delivery best practices.

First, make sure that you have the correct equipment to effectively deliver your course or meeting content.  This includes having a reliable web camera, and luckily, most laptops and tablets have adequate built in web cameras.  If you prefer a higher quality camera or if you have a desktop, many external web cameras are available at very reasonable price points.  In addition, sufficient internet speed to support streaming content and video is required.  Many households have implemented a family internet usage calendar to avoid too many devices streaming content during the same time of an important virtual meeting.  To improve privacy during virtual delivery, Cathy and I suggest using a headset or a pair of earphones.  Many listening options are available depending on how much someone wants to spend on this option.  Cathy and I prefer wireless options like Apple AirPods or the Anker Liberty Air.  The final piece of equipment that we have invested in is a quality microphone for recorded presentations.  Cathy and I prefer the Blue Yeti microphone, which is available with a desk stand or a boom arm.  To further reduce microphone noise and acoustic transparency, an optional pop filter can be placed in front of the Blue Yeti microphone.

After you are assured that your equipment can support the delivery of your meeting or course, there are other great practices that should be observed.

  • Prepare Yourself Ahead of Time and Incorporate Some Transition Time – Make sure to mindfully transition from all other tasks before you deliver or participate in a virtual meeting. Make sure to close other apps and browsers to increase internet speed and to help reduce distractions.  In addition, it is important to get into the correct mindset before the virtual meeting begins.  Cathy and I suggest reviewing the course topics or meeting agenda for a few minutes before the start of the virtual meeting.  Decide if you are going to stand or sit during the virtual presentation.  If you normally stand when you teach, we suggest that you stand during the virtual presentation.  Also, make sure that your lighting is adequate for others to see you during the presentation.  Test your video camera and the lighting before your meeting begins.  Furthermore, make sure that all screens that you plan to share during the meeting are ready to view on your device.
  • Don’t Do Too Much at Once – Typically, it will take longer to cover material in a virtual environment compared to when we meet in person. Consider covering less material and allowing more time for questions and conversation.  Online delivery models require more repetition and additional time for discussion.  PowerPoint can work well with presentation organization and delivery, but we should avoid putting too much material on individual slides.  PowerPoint can help facilitate keeping meetings and classes on track, but the slides should include only the main discussion items.  In addition, try to avoid having long virtual meetings or classes.  We as humans can only stay engaged virtually for a certain period of time.
  • Set Some Ground Rules – Participants should develop a habit of muting themselves when they are not talking. To avoid everyone talking at once, a process to ask questions or contribute to the discussion should be in place.  Utilizing the chat or raising your hand features are great practices to insure a fair an equitable process for everyone to have a voice during the meeting.  Decide ahead of time if all participants will be required to have their camera on during the entire meeting or only when they speak.  Cathy and I like the human element in our virtual classroom environments and it is more engaging when students have their cameras are on.  At a minimum, everyone should introduce themselves at the beginning of the semester (or meeting) and then state their name when they ask questions.
  • Increase Engagement – Cathy and I cannot stress enough that engagement during virtual delivery is essential. We utilize polling software to insure that our students are participating and understanding the material being presented.  Poll Everywhere, Kahoot, Mentimeter, Socrative, GoSoapBox, and Nearpod can be used for virtual meeting polling activities.  In addition, we use online breakout rooms to promote smaller group discussions.
  • Finish Strong– We should always end our virtual meetings with either an overview of what was covered or what still needs to be completed. Many times, we can ask everyone for closing thoughts, what they learned, or what they still are confused about before they exit the meeting.  The online chat feature or polling options can help facilitate the end of the meeting discussion.

Cathy and I are always trying to improve our classroom delivery and student engagement.  Our goal is to provide others the techniques and technology tools that have been successful in enhancing the student learning experience within our on-campus and virtual classroom environments.  Hopefully, our best practices will help with your virtual meeting and course delivery planning process.

 

© 2020 Teaching and Learning Toolbox