How to prepare your child for online activities? 12 tips from a practicing online teacher.

The new reality dictates new rules of life. Yesterday your children went to schools and kindergartens, attended clubs and developmental activities, and today they sit at home and do not go out because of the epidemic. For children, the epidemic is a frightening but exciting adventure. A lot of people see it that way, before the first conflicts, “Mom, come on, let me out!” In the atmosphere of four walls and parents’ discussions of contradictory news from the telegram, one has to learn as well. Learn both in school and in extra classes.

  1. Prepare the child psychologically in advance for what will be online employment. If your preschool child explains and shows you how video conferencing works, let him or her understand where the camera is, where to look, let him or her pamper you, pamper you, or be in euphoria. For preschoolers aunt-teacher in Skype is a huge joke, but during classes the joke burns your money and time. So it’s better to spend some time with Skype in advance and cool down your passion for it. After saying that this is a lesson with a live teacher, not a robot or a cartoonist on the screen, you need to watch and listen to the same as in the class, only through the camera. If the child is a schoolboy, remind him of the behavior in class and respect for the work of a live teacher, even through the computer screen. Camera and distance breaks down the living boundaries between teacher and pupil, and the child feels not in the classroom, but in his home and begins to act relaxed and loosened up. You have to work with this so that any lessons will be productive.
  2. Check the connection in advance! Set up communication for online lessons at least 30 minutes in advance, not 5 minutes before the lesson or during the lesson itself. A good teacher, like me, will tolerate and help to cope with technical failures and prolong the lesson for the time of setting, 10-15 minutes. Although it’s harder to do because of the tight schedule. The evil one will finish the lesson at the agreed time and you will not get back the setting time. Mostly teachers work through Skype and zoom. If there is an administrator working with the teacher – he writes detailed instructions how to connect and check everything. Read it! A lot of parents don’t do that. Checking the connection is easy. If your family has two mobile phones or one phone and a laptop – install an application on both devices through which you will learn, register different accounts, go to different rooms and call each other via Skype or zoom. Check how you hear and see each other. There are also special buttons in both zoom and Skype to check sound and communication. Find them in advance. If there is a problem, use Google or YouTube. You won’t believe it, but Google and YouTube are great at solving any technical problem. For simple queries “I don’t see your interlocutor on Skype”, “there is no sound on Skype”, “where is the connection check button in the zoom” search will give you and video, and pictures, and schemes, and texts where, how to find, turn on and correct. Even the word Skype and zoom can be written in Russian. There are whole bloggers who with their small 30-second problem-fixing videos fill themselves with millions of hits and set you up with connections, just repeat the steps behind them. You don’t need to be a technician or even a computer expert to set up, just worry about it in advance so that you don’t panic and burn class time. It’s a good idea if your child is already in the first grade – you can give them a task to deal with the computer and communication. Well, it’s not very good when 12-year-old boys who already have to defend their homeland in Battlefield, ride horses in RDR 2 and in general, who can bring a day to the family budget, participating in cyber-sports tournaments or programming, poor mothers set up Skype. Don’t take care of the children like that! Let them sit for two hours and figure out what you’re going to do with this setting. Do not take care of children in terms of computers, many at their age already work in Silicon Valley or earn big money through the Internet.
12 tips from a practicing online teacher.
  1. Use headphones and a microphone. It’s an optional item. Now the family budget is limited, the shops and delivery points are closed, one does not want to order something again, even with delivery. But if your child is a regular online student, the headphones and microphone will be a useful addition to the lessons. Not the most necessary, but useful. Phones and notebooks, even expensive ones, do not have the best speakers and microphones built in by default. Even the very shape of phones and computers does not allow you to make clear, clear, loud sound specifically for video communications, the microphones are hidden in the depths, and the sound from the speakers walks around the room. In the end, you have to parse the words, the sound merges with the noise in the room, breaks of communication make it even worse, a couple of classes in a row still tolerant and discreet, but if a child is engaged in so many days non-stop – he will have a headache from the constant tension due to the bad sound. Additional devices such as a microphone and headphones solve this problem. You can be heard clearly and you can hear your interlocutor clearly. The microphone picks up only the sound of the voice and cleans it, headphones cut off extraneous noise and loudly and deliver to the target voice of the interlocutor. Beautiful devices. You don’t have to buy expensive equipment. Even Bluetooth headphones or even the cheapest wired headphones with built-in microphone will be enough. They’ll clean up and improve the sound. Use them if you can and remember to set up and check in advance as in point two.
  2. Duplicate your Internet connection. No one is insured against Internet connection disruptions in the middle of a class. They say that now the Internet is experiencing peak loads, ISPs do not cope, communication failures occur more often, the Internet falls. To prevent this from happening, duplicate the Internet connection. The child is sitting through the computer – have a mobile phone with good mobile Internet at hand. If the hi-fi falls, you can enable the modem mode on your phone or access the conference via the regular mobile Internet rather than the hi-fi. If it’s sitting over the phone, take a second phone. Let one be connected to a wi-fi, the other to mobile Internet. In case of a blackout, there will be a second device nearby, through which you can quickly solve the problem, rather than burning the lesson time. It will also be useful to have both Skype and zoom installed on all your devices, even if you are using one. If any of this falls, you can quickly switch to another program.
How to prepare your child for online activities
  1. Turn on the light! To improve the image through a webcam is enough to provide good lighting to your face. If everybody does it, everyone will have a very clear picture. Do not sit back to the window, or back to the chandelier, do not obstruct the light sources. If you study during the day but it’s dark in the room, turn on the overhead light. You have to understand physics that a camera is a device that captures the reflection of light, like the human eye. But the human eye is a very sensitive powerful thing, it needs very little light to see something, and any camera, especially a webcam, a cute old man’s half blind eye, which needs 10 lamps to see something. It is not necessary to point a table lamp in your face – it is harmful and inconvenient to shine in your eyes. But to follow basic rules – to sit face or side to the window (not with your back!), face or side to the upper light (not with your back!) and can turn on the table lamp, but to direct it down or just into the wall so that the light is reflected from the wall and enters the face – is recommended. And it’s not aesthetic considerations, it’s a concern for eye health. After all, if you look at a blurred dark picture, your vision is strained and deteriorated. Buying a separate “cool” webcam does not make much sense, they are very expensive and a special noticeable increase in quality and light sensitivity does not give, but if you meet in some tent with batteries and phone covers small cheap lamps for face lighting, which are specially made not to shine in the eyes – you can take. The main rule is to sit in the light, not in the shadows.
  2. Feed the baby in advance! It is unacceptable to eat, drink seagulls, and throw nuts or cookies while the teacher is teaching an online class, just like in a live lesson. There’s a kitchen, breaks and breaks, and classes are for that. Computer meals and teatime at the computer decompose the working atmosphere, distract other students during conferences and fill the computers with loud chews and Serbanians. Simple water in a glass to wet your throat at most. We don’t turn an online job into an online feast.
  3. Let’s clean up the table. We leave only the essentials on it. Home broadcasts have one advantage for children. You can take all your cool toys and kind of discreetly show them to the camera. Spin in your hands, look. It’s not supposed to happen. Other students are no longer thinking about the lesson during this action. Once, the child even began to count in front of his classmates the money that he had apparently been given for a holiday and which, for sure, suddenly happened to be in front of a camera in his purse. If guys want to brag toys, gifts or interiors in front of each other, you can highlight this separate “changes”, breaks, if you are a teacher. Or exchange contacts, if you’re a parent. Let the children sit down and talk in their spare time.
  4. “Evacuate” the pets from the room we’re in. SEALs and dogs are very distracting to children. Especially, during the broadcast, the seals and climb into the frame, lie on laptops, press the keys and mute you all the sound and video. Children laugh, do not think about classes, look at what makes a squeaking toy dog in the background of a neighbor broadcast. Remove the animals for the duration of the class and close the doors to them. I am very fond of animals and I wonder what kind of animals my students have, so for cats and dogs we have a separate minute. At the end of the class we introduce each other to our pets, show sleepy cats and dogs to each other’s cells. But they are not present in the same room as us during the broadcasts.
  5. We’re working at the table, not in bed! And no plaid! In this atmosphere, children feel too relaxed. Of course, when you’re on the bed, it’s hard not to lie down. And how you don’t want to study when there’s a pillow and a blanket. Wrapped in a blanket it is very difficult to be active and efficient. Coziness is relaxing and it takes a very long time to bring children into working condition. You can’t think of a better table and chair for online broadcasts.
  6. Change the child into work clothes. No need to overdo it and wear a butterfly coat or a school uniform, but we exclude robes and pajamas. It’s relaxing for kids. If you’re a teacher, dress well as for work. Online broadcasting is the same job and in this job too you need to wash your head and makeup, not broadcast with your sleepy face in the kitchen apron. We dress nicely.
  7. Eleven. Don’t bother the kid studying. TV on, active business in the background distracts the child. If you want to see what the kid does, do it quietly. No vacuum cleaner or TV. If the apartment is small and do not disperse into different rooms, we think about how not to disturb each other. Vacuuming can be done before class, and the TV can be watched in headphones over the phone. Little siblings and siblings can also be occupied with something low. The main thing to think about cozy coexistence is not to give up chance. Quarantine can last a very long time, let’s face it. It could be months, not alone, as we’re promised. Prepare for the worst-case scenario and save the nerves of ourselves and our family.
  8. Positive mood! Classes online open up a sea of possibilities. Those who say that the world has changed and we will never be the same again as we were before the epidemic are right. Online will be more, appreciate it and use it will always be more and stronger now. Do not take online as a temporary inconvenience. Take it as your present life and the past as it never was. Find out about everything in the instructions, programs, settings. Don’t panic if the technique fails, the internet goes down, something breaks down. The technique always glitches, be tolerant to it. Don’t be nostalgic for “living” times. There will be a holiday if the quarantine doesn’t last until autumn. But get ready now for the most likely scenario – you will have to learn and teach for six months online and the sooner you rebuild, the sooner you will get used to it. Be positive and productive.
How to prepare your child for online activities? 12 tips from a practicing online teacher.