7 Essential Online Teaching Tools
The trend of online education in Australia started developing in the past 20 years, as an improved version of the print-based distance learning which was very popular in the 20th century. The present conditions, such as the high technological development, the long-distance issues for getting educated, and especially the COVID-19 pandemic, additionally pushed this trend into our lives and turned it into a common way of getting education in the 21st century.
I won’t deny, as much as it’s hard learning today’s lesson from the computer screen, online education has its own advantages too. After all, who doesn’t want to learn from the comfort of their home? But perhaps the greatest burden in this situation fell on the teachers’ backs, because teaching online has brought a lot of new challenges, such as bringing the classroom at home, adjusting your teaching methods to the online learning platforms, etc.
This list can go on and on, because different teachers face different challenges throughout this process. One of the things you can do to ease the process for yourself is to turn your online classroom into a comfortable space where you’ll be motivated to deliver knowledge in the most efficient way. To help you, we made a list of essential tools you might want to get in order to give yourself and your students the best online learning experience.
As a teacher, you know it’s better to write things down, instead of remembering them. But, you also know that sometimes “writing it down” can mean doing long and overwhelming to-do lists that make you feel exhausted. At this point, you probably want to turn your to-do lists into something more interesting that will keep you motivated to work? Stop wasting time finding ways how to make it through the day, and start searching for pinboards to boost creativity and motivation while tutoring your students the boring steps written into their books.
Not only is it an excellent replacement for the boring lists you make every day, but having a pinboard next to your desk can be a great way to pin notes for yourself, reminders while teaching, or simply turning your teaching concepts into colourful plans that will make the online education a more interesting process that won’t stay unnoticed by your students.
In addition to allowing you to put forward your creativity, pinboards come in different colours and sizes, so you won’t struggle with fitting them into your little home classroom at all. Instead of getting the old-school wooden bulletin boards, go for a blazing red-framed pinboard that will stimulate your productivity, or choose a silver-coloured one to perfectly match your home classroom design. Not only are they available in many colours and sizes, but pinboards are also made from high-quality velour fabrics that are both pinnable and hook-and-loop compatible.
If you want to stick to the old-school teaching methods, then getting a whiteboard is a great way to provide your students with the classic board teaching practice through the online platforms. Except for setting a real classroom ambience, visually depicting the processes and formulas on a whiteboard will maintain your students’ focus and stimulate their productivity.
Talking about maintaining productivity and focus in the classroom, it’s not uncommon to share the room where you teach with the other members of your family. If that’s your case too, then you can use the whiteboard as a partition. A whiteboard room divider can hide your kids running around or other family members moving around the house and embarrassing you in front of the camera.
These whiteboard dividers also come in different shapes and sizes, and it won’t be a problem to fit them into your teaching corner of the room. The room dividers can also be made from pinnable fabrics in different colours, which makes them a convenient tool when it comes to teaching from your home.
But even the best whiteboard and pinboard will be worth nothing to your students if they struggle seeing the written material through your low-resolution camera. For this purpose, you might want to get a good HD web camera that supports at least 720p.
Talking about cameras, the technology nowadays developed to the level that can provide teachers with the ability to project printed documents digitally in high resolution through a simple document camera. Having such a camera can come in handy for many situations like when reading and writing along with your students, demonstrating dissections and patterns, solving math manipulatives. A document camera is a great addition to your whiteboard, which gives you endless possibilities for your teaching methods.
Teaching the old-school way on a board means that you’ll constantly be in motion and you’ll move away from your computer a lot. Having wired headphones can be an issue in this case since you’ll be constantly attached to your computer desk. For this reason, you may want to get yourself a pair of wireless headphones that will let you move around the room freely, without worrying about them accidentally getting detached from your computer.
To improve your teaching experience even more, you might want to choose noise-cancelling wireless headphones. By having a pair of those, you can rest assured that you’re isolated from the surrounding noises and 100% focused on your students, which automatically improves the quality of your teaching.
It’s very well known that good natural lighting can immediately boost your mood and make you more productive. But, not all of the teachers are blessed to have a home classroom in the brightest corner of their house. This can mean that sometimes you will have to adjust the lighting into your teaching room in a way that works for you because poor lighting can be a source for a constant headache that will make the teaching very unpleasant. In this case, a ring light can be a decent replacement for natural daylight. Not only will it save you from the constant headaches and the painful pressure in your eyes, but it will make your face more visible for the students too which can make for a better learning experience.
Height Adjustable Desk
According to experts, sedentary work can be extremely unhealthy. Some of them even said that “sitting is the new smoking”. As a teacher, I’m sure your job includes a lot of sitting at your desk, no matter if it’s teaching the students online, of preparing teaching materials. Getting yourself an ergonomic adjustable height desk can be a revolutionary change for you and your body, since standing while working helps you stay in shape and burn some additional calories, while saving you from the unpleasant pain in your knees caused by sitting.
Talking about creating an ergonomic home office where work and well-being go hand, we shouldn’t overlook the importance of a good desk chair. After all, even with the best height-adjustable desk, it’s impossible to stand the whole time. So, for those moments you spent seated, it’s best to invest in a quality ergonomic chair. Not only can it improve the general posture of your body, but the ergonomic chairs’ seat can be adjusted to a 90-degree angle, that allows proper circulation in your legs. This chair also supports the other parts of your body, and can successfully reduce the pain in your neck, back, and other painful spots, while you’re sitting comfortably.