From Robyn Headifen, Kaiārahi, Networks of Expertise

There is nothing like a lockdown to force you to places you didn’t really want to go. That’s where i found myself days after the lockdown. Courses to be completed another to be started. There is no end of help of there which I found a bit overwhelming. I decided to watch 2 webinars only and go from there. I decided on zoom as I found Google meet didn’t work so well with my poor internet speed. This is what I learnt

A quote from the webinar “This will be hard at the start, messy in the middle  & gorgeous at the end” 

Features in zoom to make use of:  

  • The waitroom before the session starts
  • Breakout rooms can help maintain control and have participants working in smaller groups. I am not sure how this would go with younger children. I popped in and out of rooms like Harry Potter. Broadcast the discussion topic/question after sending people to rooms. 
  • Use the presenters controls to mute the audience at the start and when needed
  • Animations Hands up thumbs up Thumps down
  • Chat -Get the audience to ask questions using chat
  • Polls to keep engagement levels up 
  • Screen share
  • The whiteboard and annotate feature
  • Record – you can trim this and share with students or use for your own learning
  • Have un-muted Q & A times

At the start tell/show students how to participate

  • View full screen
  • Turn sound up
  • Mute their microphone unless talking ( hold the space bar to temporarily unmute)
  • Use chat to ask questions & sign in/introduce self
  • Take notes 
  • There will be a question and answer time

Use powerpoint or google slides or other software and share the screen within zoom
On the slides  have 

  • a clear strong image 
  • Key words only
  • Use 50+ font
  • Use colour 

The brain has 11 million sensory neurons & 10 million are for our eyes ( apparently this is one of the reasons our students are on instagram and snapchat


  • Keep your background plain to avoid distractions – find a place if possible with decent lighting
  • Stand up as you present – lets you move around & be more expressive. Move out of the frame especially when you want students watching a video/your screen so you are not a distraction.
  • Modulate your voice – experiment a bit to see what your voice sounds like online – how long could you listen to yourself?  Women tend to have to lower their tone & men soften their voice. Some are naturals 
  • For Students make short videos only. less than 5 minutes which makes the free screencastify Chrome add-on perfect


Meeting with students

  • Record and store if you are doing 1-1 with students for your own protection (let these only be 15 minutes long max) 
  • Encourage kids to be in a public space when you are doing 1-1 or small group sessions eg dining table vs bedroom
  • When working use the 20: 5 rule – 20 minutes on and 5 minutes off 
  • Download the i studyalarm app from Spectrum Education


These Notes compiled after watching the 2 webinars below and trial and error

  1. From NCTM:  a webinar for using zoom & gsuite with maths examples – shows use of use annotate/whiteboard, breakout rooms with a couple of maths examples 
  2. Form Karen Tui Boyes Spectrum Education – engaging students in online learning


More Tips for on line learning from Mindlab
Pre-recorded webinar



Link to starter slides

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