Teaching via Skype or a smililar App

Points to consider when teaching via Skype.

If you are thinking of teaching via Skype or a similar App here are a few points that I have put together from my own experiences. I hope you will find them helpful.

Safeguarding is very important when teaching face to face or via Skype, Face time, Whats app, Zoom or Google hangout so do make sure your policies are up to date and include online teaching.

Zoom have upgraded their basic membership for schools and are now offering 60 minutes for more information please go to their site.https://zoom.us/education

Things to consider.

1:

When offering Skype lessons to students, parents will need to email you their permission.

2:

Sessions should be held in a public area of the house and preferably through a parent Skype account. This is important to point out to parents. A parent should be present throughout the lesson or within earshot.

3:

Protect yourself by restricting your profile so that it does not automatically accept contact requests. Send your Skype address to the parents prior to the student’s first lesson. (Please see below)

4:

Use a business-like profile picture and establish a serious and professional manner when using Skype. Keep language professional at all times.

5:

Dress smartly and use a neutral background, you can buy pop up screens online and cost between £32.00 and £45.00. It could be a worthwhile investment. However a plain uncluttered wall would work just as well or blur the background.

6:

In the event of a student misbehaving or using inappropriate behaviour lessons should be terminated immediately. Complaints should be communicated in writing.

7:

Teaching via Skype is very different and will require more planning as it is more limiting than teaching in the room. Having a good lesson plan is the key to a successful session for you and the student. Also don’t forget to have a clock so you can ensure your lessons run on time and for the right length. (There is a minute counter on screen when using Skype)

8:

Do a trial with a family member or friend before your first lesson to ensure your technology is all working as it should 

9:

Self-employed teachers should be clear on their own online safeguarding policy and communicate this clearly to parents and students. 

Ensure your GDPR privacy policy includes photo and video use and also make sure your insurance covers you for this form of online teaching.

Preparation is everything when teaching a virtual class so it is important that both teachers and students are prepared.

Below are a few tips to send out to parents and students before their online lessons.
 
Here are few tips to ensure our sessions run smoothly.
  • Please add my Skype account: ***********
  • Please let me know the Skype address you will be using.

  • Ensure you have Skype set up in a suitably large communal space, so you can move around. It would be useful to have access to a chair/table if one is used within your performance.
  • Ideally, the camera should be set up at eye level.
  • All students need to be prepared with their performance pieces/speeches, poems and be ready 5 minutes before your lesson slot. I will call you on Skype when I have finished my previous lesson.
  • Sessions should be held in a public area of the house and through a parent Skype account. A parent should be present throughout the lesson or within earshot.

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