Online Classes

How do our online classes work

For our online classes, we are using a fabulous new video teaching tool (Zoom) that allows students to join and interact remotely. It even allows me to break the class into little breakout groups for conversation practice, allows me to go from group to group advising and assisting and then bring everyone back together just like in a regular class. The tool has a free app for whatever devices you prefer (phone, tablet, computer, laptop) that is simple to install and use (links and instructions provided). A few minutes before each lesson, you will receive a link for our class by email that will magically transport you to our virtual classroom (like teleportation in Star Trek).

What makes them great

I wasn’t sure how well it would work before I tried it but now I love it and having taught all my classes using it for a couple of weeks, my students really love it to. Some have even said they prefer it to regular classes. And not just because of the social distancing, there are a number of other advantages that I hadn’t thought about either:

  • All the notes I write in class on the whiteboard (notes, new words, grammar references) are automatically saved by the program. You can see them in the app when I write them but I also email them to you after class as a reference.
  • No more missing out on what I or other students say because you’re too far away from them. You just turn up the volume. The sound and video are fantastic quality
  • I can share all the documents, grammar pages, newspapers and reference material directly so they just pop up on screen for you. I can also make notes on them directly and of course email them all to you after class
  • Sit in your favourite chair, have a cup of tea (or vino) and relax during class. And wear whatever you want. We learn best when we are comfortable
  • We can watch movies and other videos, play games directly through the app. We don’t even need to switch off the light
  • The App is free, no login or signup process, no technical ability required

Recommendation for using ZOOM effectively

An important and very useful tool in Zoom is the chat. Here is how to activate Zoom chat:

  • If using a computer / laptop: In your controls at the bottom window, click Chat
  • If you are on a mobile device, tap Participants, then Chat 
  • If the bottom bar is hidden you may have to tap on the screen of your phone or tablet or move the mouse of your laptop to make it appear again
  • Please use headphones or earphones to ensure there is no echo
  • Please turn your phone on silent or airplane mode, to avoid disruption during class
  • We will use the same link (including password) for all our Zoom classes
  • If you have any problems joining our Zoom class, please ring my husband Joady (085 7134343) as I won’t be able to help while teaching
  • Let me know if you need to download Zoom and I’ll send you the link (it’s free)

Download ZOOM, in case you don’t have it already

Here are the links to download ZOOM (select the one compatible with your device).

For Android phones and tablets

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=us.zoom.videomeetings

For iPhones and iPads

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id546505307

For computers and laptops

https://zoom.us/client/latest/ZoomInstaller.exe

For iMacs and Macbooks

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/203020795-How-To-Install-on-Mac

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