One of the most simple ways to involve students is to have them in charge of muting the microphone. I’ve seen this work well in a couple of ways (about 2nd grade and up):
- A trusted student is responsible for muting and unmuting in a multi-point conference such as an ASK program or an interview with an expert.
- OR, as each student comes up to the microphone, they press the button on the microphone, state their question or comment, and then press the button again.
I’ve seen these examples using with the button on the Polycom microphones (instead of giving the student the remote control). Those of you using other systems, how does this work for you? Please comment and share!
Cameras and More
Some students prefer to be off camera, while others love to “ham it up” with strong voices and great announcing skills. Encourage this diversity by involving your students in different ways during the videoconference. (Thank you Kim Pearce for these ideas to organize students with production jobs.)
- Teach the students to use already set presets, or even how to set the presets. Have a student or two responsible for the switching presets. This is helpful when you have different visuals to show. Watch the student presentations in the middle of this MysteryQuest video for examples.
- Build on the visual nature of videoconferencing communication, and have an art crew for the backdrop, a lighting crew, and stage hands. Let these visuals from Dew ISD, TX inspire you:
- If you haven’t allowed students to help with a videoconference yet, which of these tips will you try first?
- Do you have any other tips for involving students in the production of the videoconference?
Comment and tell us about it!