Open Forum

Virtual Classroom Software

  • 1.  Virtual Classroom Software

    Posted 16 days ago
    Has anyone used any virtual classroom software, either as a teacher or as a participant? If so, what did you use and what are your thoughts? I'm on a committee tasked with evaluating Blackboard Collaborate as an option, but in our meeting today we were pretty disappointed in the virtual whiteboard function. Anyone found anything they like?

    ------------------------------
    Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
    Theatre Department Coordinator
    Fishersville VA
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Virtual Classroom Software

    Posted 15 days ago
    Our district is a Microsoft district so we use Teams.  It's incredible because it combines a bunch of different functions into one platform.

    ------------------------------
    Joel King
    Woodstock GA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Virtual Classroom Software

    Posted 15 days ago

    Try Zoom! We used it for the last 6 weeks of school and it worked really well both for teachers meetings and for teaching my classes. Zoom services were free during the pandemic. I'm not sure what they are doing now.  I used the whiteboard on it and it works well. There's also a function that allows you to share whatever you want from your desktop with the others in your meeting, so you can show PowerPoint or whatever you want. You can allow (or not allow) others to do the same. You can break your students into groups and they can work independently with just the other group members. It would also work for students to do "live" performances this way.

    You will need to make sure that your settings are very exclusive, so you don't have unwanted people popping in and doing things they shouldn't, as well as limiting what your students can do.

    We found it to work really well for us.

    As a side note: I used Flipgrid for the students to film their performances and share them with the others in the class. Students can film themselves either on Flipgrid or their iPhones and then submit. This gives hem the opportunity to film, refill, edit, whatever they want before submission.  Then others in the class can watch the finished product and leave comments (also filmed) for each other. I found this an excellent way for them to continue to have the interaction that was missing from the classroom setting.

    Hope this helps!



    ------------------------------
    Sheri Templeton
    Valley Christian High School
    Chandler, AZ
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Virtual Classroom Software

    Posted 15 days ago
    Oh, our school district has forbidden the use of Zoom. Privacy issues and such. My admin wants us to get something that is designed to be a virtual classroom.

    ------------------------------
    Cassy Maxton-Whitacre
    Theatre Department Coordinator
    Fishersville VA
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Virtual Classroom Software

    Posted 14 days ago
    Teams is connected to Microsoft but it is an all-inclusive classroom experience.  You can post assignments and grade them right there.  You can do live video classes or pre-record and upload.  You can also record meeting and post so if a students misses they can can catch up.  You can drop files in one central location, create a collaboration space, do small group channels, and the class notebook allows students to share work or you can ask them to post to one during class to discuss or collaborate as a class.  It does have it's limitations and it does lag in video sometimes but we use infinite campus as our grade book and attendance platform and they interface with one another if you set them up.

    ------------------------------
    Joel King
    Woodstock GA
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Virtual Classroom Software

    Posted 14 days ago
    Has anyone used Google Meet? We are a Google school, and I know we're having a workshop about Google Classroom (which I've used in the past - mainly going to see if there are any updates I've missed hearing about). I have seen that there is an add-on to give you a grid view similar to Zoom. Like all of you, I'm just trying to prepare a little for what may await us in the fall.

    ------------------------------
    Jennifer Vernon
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Virtual Classroom Software

    Posted 14 days ago
    Jennifer,

    I also teach at a Google School. We used Google Meet all spring, and the Grid extension works well. We had very few problems with it. We don't use Google Classroom, but I got a lot out of Jamboard and Lucidchart, which are also part of the Google Suite.

    I'll also add an endorsement of Flipgrid. Very easy to use, and offers a lot of flexibility in how you choose to engage with it.

    Best of luck, All!

    ------------------------------
    Meg O'Connor
    The Masters School
    Dobbs Ferry, NY
    oconnormainstage.com
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Virtual Classroom Software

    Posted 13 days ago
    We used Google Meets this year.  It was fine but not as efficient as using Zoom (which we are not allowed to use).  I'm hoping that Google offers a "breakout groups" feature soon as Zoom does.  I think this will be especially helpful for small group discussions should we be remote in the fall.

    ------------------------------
    Laura Russo
    Teacher/Director of Theatre Arts
    School District of The Chathams
    Chatham NJ
    ------------------------------