Friday, 13 October 2017

Create Your Online School with a Great Virtual Classroom

Webroom has to be one of the best free virtual classrooms for online synchronous teaching I’ve seen. It’s very easy to set up a class. Just type in your email address and name and the classroom launches.

Once the class opens there’s a very easy to work through on-boarding task that ensures anyone entering the classroom has the correct browser (Chrome works best) , sufficient connectivity, and has set up their video and audio so you can be sure everyone can see each other.
Once you are set up you can invite students by email or share the link to the classroom.

Webroom has a lot of really great easy to use features including really simple to set up breakout rooms for getting students into pairs or groups, screen sharing, an interactive whiteboard for sharing images and text, file sharing and best of all link sharing.
As well as sharing links to websites, the link sharing feature allows you to share links to videos from the web and collaborate on Google Docs, Google Slides or Google Spreadsheets. This takes Webroom beyond the usual presentation and chat type class and enables teachers to do work on writing skills too.

Webroom also has a number of features that can help students takes notes and remember their classes. When using the whiteboard students can download any screen they see and keep an image of it by simply clicking the download button and then at the end of the class students get an email summary that includes any of the links shared during the lesson as well as links to any files that were uploaded.

You can use Webroom very simply by creating a new class session each time or you can register for free and log in to set up class schedules.
If you find this type of class is effective for you and your students then it is well worth looking at: This is the commercial version of Webroom and it enables you to set up online course and to start charging for them. With this tool you can launch your own online school.

There is a free (forever) account that enables you to get started and build your courses, but you can only use this for one teacher and two students. Scaling up isn’t expensive though and the fees are a flat monthly rate, so this is a great way to open your own online school without too much risk.

I hope you enjoy using Webroom and that it helps you to get your own online school launched.

You can find 100 + more tools and resources like this in my ebook Digital Tools for Teachers - Second Edition or if you want to train other teachers to use these kinds of tools check out the Trainers’ Edition.

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Nik Peachey

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