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How to Teach Remotely Using a Video Conferencing Platform

By Kelly Kantrowitz | Posted 3/30/2020
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;
an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
- Winston Churchill.

The coronavirus has prompted nationwide school closures. And the daunting part? A majority of teachers have never been exposed to online learning or the need to support their students from afar. But, guess what? You don’t have to pencil in time for a bucket of ice cream and a good cry, nor do you have to send your stress a break-up text. Everyone’s feeling a bit overwhelmed, so you are certainly not alone. Don’t let self-quarantining and social distancing make you feel isolated.

For most educators, there’s an allure to teaching in person, as it’s an opportunity to feed off the energy in the room, interact with your students, and physically witness a room full of faces as understanding sinks in.

When it comes to an online classroom, it may feel like your style of teaching can get lost in translation – the dramatic pauses, the ability to raise your voice, the touch of humor, even the body language you use. It doesn’t have to be this way. You merely need to shift your mindset and perspective to see the scope of possibilities lying before you.

What your students need more than ever is the human connection that is normally felt in the classroom. Even the small interactions you have before class begins or in the hallway will be missed. So, while the content of your lesson plans and assignments are certainly important, creating personalized touchpoints will have the greatest impact.

Not only can you capture your energy, passion, and personality via remote learning, but you can connect with your students in a way that’s authentic and, dare we say, fun. And it all comes down to sprinkling a little Hollywood magic into your presentations and emails with movie clips.

Whether you’re teaching Philosophy or Biology, here’s how you can leverage MovieComm’s legally-approved clips to engage and excite your students.

#1. Tee up your presentation

Greet your class and discuss the theme of your lesson for the day. If you’re teaching about leadership, for example, you can speak to the context and set the tone by using a movie clip that embraces your message - whether it’s humor, what not to do, or something that pulls on the heartstrings. Make sure to have your clips preselected before your lesson to maintain the flow and timeliness of your presentation. Once you go live, simply minimize your screen, and pull up the first clip you’d like to play. When finished, minimize the clip and maximize your screen once again.

#2. Keep students engaged with icebreakers

Studies show that every 12 to 15 minutes of a presentation, you should have an icebreaker to spice things up. This is the perfect opportunity to leverage another clip to spark the conversation, get creative juices flowing, and add some color to your lesson. Make sure to introduce the clip and speak to the message you’re sharing. Like you did before, simply minimize your screen, pull up your clip, and then minimize the video once more when it’s finished playing. Afterward, get the conversation going by posing an open-ended question to the class.

#3. End on a high note

A strong finish is the most effective way of reinforcing your message. Make sure to highlight the key points discussed in your lesson before playing your movie clip for your students.

There you have it – an easy and convenient way to keep your students engaged when teaching remotely. To see this process in action, press play on the video below.

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