Hooking Teachers on Videoconferencing

The perennial challenge of videoconferencing is to get teachers to use it! They have so many good reasons to resist using it! If you’re just getting started, here are some ideas to get past that first block.

Select a Couple Teachers

Think about who you could start with. Pick someone who:

  • Willing to try something new
  • Flexible
  • Based on content/what’s available

Ask Teachers Questions

As you try to find videoconferences that meet curriculum and teacher interests, ask your teachers these three questions from Linda McDonald.

  • Ask what about the critical target objectives based on testing data.
  • Ask about areas of curriculum that teacher think are important but don’t seem to have time to teach.
  • Ask which content students struggle understanding.

Plan on a Progression of Support

Start off with a very high level of support, and then slowly teach your teachers additional skills so they are more independent.

  1. In the first year, or at least for the very first videoconference, do everything for your teachers. Register for them, give them prep information and help them know how to prepare, remind them a few times before the VC, connect for them and run the camera / remote for them.
  2. As soon as you can, teach your teachers how to do their own registrations.  Keep assisting with connections  and using the remote.
  3. Next, start handing the remote to the teachers and have them mute/unmute, move the camera, and use presets during their VC. Help them set the presets before the VC.
  4. Finally, teach them how to dial on their own too!

Through all of this progression, staying available to assist is critical for the sustainability of the use of videoconferencing in your school/area.

Your Turn

What about you? What tips do you have for hooking teachers on videoconferencing their very first time? Think of the last teacher you got started with VC. What was it that caught his/her interest? Please comment!

2 replies on “Hooking Teachers on Videoconferencing”

  1. The quality of their first experience is also critical. Even if it exactly fits into their curriculum expectations if it is lame or something that they can more easily do withOUT the video conferencing, that will turn them off.

    ArtSmart, Math Mysteries, and our Science Game Show Review have hooked more teachers this year than any other programs.

    Common to all of these programs: little teacher prep, strong pedagogy in the program, and every student is engaged. No sitting and watching and sleeping.


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