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In November, hybrid lessons were new to many with a number of teachers being expected to provide live online lessons while simultaneously delivering a face-to-face lesson. We did a survey and the speed of response suggested that this was a burning issue. We received 28 detailed responses from around the region.

There were two main modes:

  • The live lesson is the priority – with camera for students at home to see what is happening on the main screen in the classroom, or with a separate screen share for the students at home.
  • The remote lesson is the priority – with the live meeting shown on the screen in the classroom.

Some suggestions were:

  • Use a visualiser to show handwritten notes for home and school viewing.
  • Send the PowerPoint beforehand to students at home, but with answer slides removed. Let them start first.
  • Only present at the start to introduce a topic. Students should then work independently, using the chat for questions.
  • Use a second device, possibly a mobile phone, to see what the students can see and to keep track of chats.
  • Invite students to unmute in groups so that there is less pressure on a particular student (first names A to F).
  • Get students to dictate what is to be written on the classroom or online whiteboard, and alternate between remote and classroom students.
  • Share a Word document, interactive whiteboard or annotated PowerPoint and use a classroom interactive board or tablet to write.
  • Try using set up and browse by an individual to keep PowerPoint as a separate window, or use CTRL+T to reveal the toolbar when the PowerPoint is running.
  • Use two screens to drag various facilities for use, eg. OneNote, GeoGebra.
  • Use ‘chat blast’, ie. students type in their answers but don’t send then until told; combine this with mini whiteboards in class.
  • Just use audio for the students while going through a previously sent PowerPoint that they can navigate at home.
  • Use multiple-choice to aid interaction, possibly via the Diagnostic Questions website.

My own conclusion is that hybrid lessons aren’t easy and it shouldn’t be expected that students at home get exactly the same experience. It’s to the credit of teachers that they are providing some interaction with those studying at home who are developing different, but valuable, skills in their learning.

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