8 Game changers in my online lessons
Preparation for online lessons still taking up all your time? Does it seem like it is more work than face-face? I felt the same way initially but discovered a few things that really helped me manage my time effectively and I look forward to using them even when we resume face-face lessons!
1. Google Classroom:
Accessible across devices and so easy to use. You can set due dates for assignments and students have a record of their homework for the following week. No excuses like 'my dog ate my homework' - we are going digital. We don’t have to flood our/their phones with pictures/video or audio links – it can go directly in the classroom where they can refer to it whenever they want. This has definitely streamlined learning goals, homework assignments and classroom material.
2. Adapting games and worksheets for online use:
For an educator like me who loves to use games and worksheets, I was very keen to make them work online too. The annotation tools on zoom have helped to continue 'gamifying' the learning experience. Share the game board, print out the cards to hold up on the screen, use the annotation tools to move around the board and voila! Students are competing more than ever to win! If you’re looking for a great game to play on google slides, check this out - https://topmusicmarketplace.com/collections/games/products/it-summer-music-theory-game
3. Doc Scanner app:
How many of us have received blurred images of pieces and homework assignments? This scanning app has kept everything clear and organised. Do you want it as an image/pdf/single or multiple documents? It has it all. Quick and easy to transfer onto google classroom as well.
4. Websites to assist with learning:
Why not do some aural/sight reading/improv/theory through a digital platform? Students can refer to these websites later too. Few that I’ve explored are:
5. Keeping YouTube links ready:
We don’t need to use our free time to create dozens of videos for each student. Try to use YouTube to organise the videos you create so you can share them across students if anyone is covering the same concepts.
Online lessons opened up international professional development. My favourite people to follow are: - Curious Piano Teachers - Carly Walton - Nicola Cantan - Trinity Laban - Tim Topham
7. Maintain a schedule:
Have you felt burnt out while managing your teaching and business? After scheduling lessons in a way that suited both the student and me, organising how to set up my lesson plans, social media, business management – I felt everything streamlined so well that I could use that additional time productively. For tips – check out Carly’s podcasts/webinars on studio management.
8. Keep it simple!
Don’t look at every single webinar/video/podcast. See what is applicable to you in the moment and explore. There is lots of material online and it can be very overwhelming. Keeping your approach simple and relevant to you is the most important.
Hope these points can help structure your teaching. Please feel free to share your online teaching experiences. Would love to hear about them in the comments! :)