Online education has been on the rise as more and more schools take their education to the internet. However, the online education experience is not as naturally immersive to students as being in classrooms amongst their peers and teachers. So what can educators do to ensure that their students at home continue to receive an immersive learning experience? 

With the right technology, educators can create a virtual classroom experience that enables communication, collaboration, and instruction comparable to the learning environment of a classroom. (Note: RingCentral is offering K–12 schools RingCentral Office® for free).

Here are three essentials to consider:

1. Video meetings keep students engaged

Visuals are one of the most important elements of student learning. Studies show that 65% of students (and the general population) are visual learners, meaning they prefer instruction by looking at whiteboards, graphs, images, diagrams, etc.

When it comes to remote learning, video meeting technology is key. Your video meetings application should be able to fit your entire class into a single meeting while keeping the video steady and high quality at all times. It should also allow you to share your screen so students can see the lesson materials, as well as allow students to annotate on screen shares for participation. Much like your classroom at school, students get to see the lesson and ask questions if they have them.

Did you know:

Many video meeting apps allow lessons to be recorded so students can revisit them at their own pace. If a lesson moves too quickly, they can simply replay it to better understand.

2. Group messaging fosters a collaborative learning environment

Many students thrive from communicating and collaborating with classmates and teachers in person. If students were working on a group project in the classroom, they could easily break out into a group and sit next to each other to brainstorm ideas. How is that collaboration environment created online?

While your students might miss in-person interactions, they don’t have to stop interacting altogether. Group messaging is how students can have the same conversations they would in a classroom, but online. They can continue socializing, brainstorming, whiteboarding, asking questions, and more.  

Your class messaging technology should support three different ways to chat:

  • In-class video messages: While watching a live class in a video meeting, students should be able to use the chat function to send questions and comments to everyone in the meeting, or privately to a single person in the meeting.
  • Direct messages: When a video class is not in session, students can directly message each other (and teachers) whenever they need to.
  • Group messages: Just like groups and teams in a classroom, students can form groups to chat and collaborate in. 
Did you know:

When chatting in-app, messages are stored in every conversation so students can easily scroll up to find ideas, shared files, links, etc., that have been posted before.

3. Video and messaging for remote learning—both in one app

Messaging and video are both essential to student collaboration in online learning experiences, and in that vein, both capabilities should be available in the same application. Not only does a single application make downloading, installing, and maintaining the technology easier for students and teachers alike, but it also helps make transitioning from lessons to assignments quick and easy. Instead of teaching the technology, educators can instead focus on what’s important: providing a quality education to their students.

Keep Your Remote Learning Technology Simple

When it comes to remote learning, it’s important to remember that this is an experimental journey for everyone. Students and educators are learning together, and it’s going to take teamwork and humility to achieve success.

Keep things simple; the class will most likely appreciate it. Start with the technology and ensure that everyone in the program can communicate and collaborate effectively and seamlessly.