How teachers can use webinars to engage pupils

2020-04-01

Maintaining good levels of engagement and focus among pupils when using remote teaching methods can be a tough ask for teachers.


Fortunately, there are a wide array of resources and tools available that can help teachers to address the challenges they face, starting with the ability to create and deliver online webinars.


Not only do webinars provide a means of maintaining contact with pupils, but they also allow youngsters to ask questions on any aspects of work or learning that they are unsure on.


Why use a webinar?

Given that web technology plays a big part in the majority of our daily lives, older pupils – especially those at secondary level – will likely be aware of webinars.


It enables a teacher to have an interactive discussion with their pupils, as they can share a screen and talk over the top of it – much the same as if using a whiteboard or projector in a classroom.


Pupils can be encouraged to participate and to ask questions via chat functionality and can then be quizzed on the content that has been delivered.


Opportunities that webinars provide

Webinars include a range of opportunities for teachers, from maximising potential contact time with pupils to having plenty of flexibility over what content is included.


It’s possible to include web pages, audio, images and video within a presentation, providing all of the tools a teacher may need to deliver an engaging lesson.


The interactive functionality also means that all pupils can be involved, as the teacher can see who is online and can ask individual questions throughout which should boost engagement.


What functionality can teachers use?

Although the exact functionality will differ depending on the tools used, most webinar applications will have several key features.


Most will include walkthrough tools and the ability to present and share a screen, useful for talking through content and for providing feedback.


Communication tools such as chat and audio are commonplace, while others may feature the ability to vote on items or answer questions – again, these are effective methods for ensuring that pupils are paying attention to what is in front of them.


A webinar can also be recorded and shared with pupils so they can access the material at a later date too, useful for revision ahead of exams.


It’s important to note that webinars may be tougher to manage if many pupils are logged onto watch and that an alternative for larger classes could be pre-recorded learning content with an accompanying chat or communication platform.


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