10 Tips for Insightful teaching

1. Eliminate online distractions

The Internet is a goldmine of surfing distractions and policing them can be a full time job. Remove online temptation with web limiting. Create a list of allowed sites and blocked sites – like Facebook, Hotmail and Gmail. Save your list and load into classes as needed or share it with fellow teachers.

 2. Ensure safe computer use

Providing a safe learning environment is a big responsibility. With the keystroke monitoring and alerts feature, you can be notified when students type dangerous words or abbreviations. It’s a great way to stop cyber bullying, using proxy sites, and cheating. You can also record browsing history to ensure students are not visiting inappropriate websites.

3. Command attention sooner

Stop wasting precious class time trying to get students’ attention by using the blank screen function. You can instantly blank workstation screens, while blocking mouse and keyboard devices. Even send customized message like “Eyes to the front”. Once you’re finished addressing the class, click again to release student workstations.

4. Control distracting applications

Computer applications are another tempting source of distractions. By blocking unnecessary applications, students will be more focused. If you only want students to work in Excel, put it on the approved list and everything else will be blocked. Lists can be saved, reused, and shared with other instructors.

5. Easily monitor students

Standing behind students as they work on the computer is a good way to ensure they’re working on the assignment. An even better option is using screen feed to randomly rotate through student screens displayed on your monitor. Or use a projector to broadcast the rotating view so you can move freely around the classroom.

6. Evaluate comprehension

Knowing if students understand the lesson is critical to effective lesson planning. By using the built-in voting and testing feature, you can eliminate the guesswork. You can take a quick pulse and easily determine if the class is ready to move on to the next lesson.

7. Learn from each other

Sharing screens is a great way to cater to visual learners and to enhance collaboration. Teachers can use the share screen feature to broadcast their screens to the rest of the class. Or if a student has a creative solution, broadcast a student’s screen to the entire class for peer-to-peer learning.

8. Assist students remotely

Sometimes students need help to get back on task. Using the remote control function, you can help struggling students by taking control of their mouse and keyboard. Now it’s easy to guide them to the correct website, demonstrate a solution, or quickly fix a problem without disrupting the rest of the class.

9. Communicate with students directly

The next time you see students that won’t concentrate on the lesson, you can send them an instant message using the chat feature. It’s a great way to grab their attention without disrupting the rest of the class. Try these: “This will be on the test” or “Get back to work”.

10. Answer questions in chat

Students often run into questions, but sometimes they are too shy to raise their hand. With the chat feature, students can communicate directly with the teacher to ask their question. It’s a great way to accommodate different learners without disrupting the class.

Maria Osipova

Maria is a marketing campaign manager at Faronics by day and mom, reader, runner by night. Relying on coffee and iGoogle to manage the hectic days, she is interested in emerging technologies, tools for education and social marketing.