“Back to school”, even a few years ago, meant returning to the smell of new books, the familiar feel of a uniform and, the constant struggle to stay
“Back to school”, even a few years ago, meant returning to the smell of new books, the familiar feel of a uniform and, the constant struggle to stay active in class lest the teacher catches you drifting off to your wonderland. But over the past few years and more so recently, attendance has been reduced to “screen time” and “meeting links” are your new classrooms. But keeping the nostalgia of wooden desks intact, here are some ways you can make better use of popular virtual platforms.
GOOGLE MEET: Formerly Hangouts Meet, here are some tricks to make you more comfortable on Google Meet classrooms:
- Layouts: A common problem on this platform is that teachers or students can view only a handful of participants at a time. You can increase that number by changing the layout of the meeting under the “More Options” menu to “Tiled”.
- Captions: For any problems regarding audio interference, Google Meet allows captions to be turned on from the popup bar below.
- Presenting Your Screen: Arguably one of the biggest issues people face on this platform. You can present your entire screen, an active Google tab or, multiple windows that are open on your PC by clicking on the “Present Now” option below.
MICROSOFT TEAMS: Teams is Microsoft’s very own Video Conferencing platform. It incorporates a more professional outlook and comes with a lot of functionalities which can be confusing at times:
- Background: Teams offers an interesting feature by allowing participants to change how their backgrounds appear to the people present in the call. You need to click on “…” menu and choose “Background effects”. There you can select, preview, and apply images, both included and custom, depending on your requirements.
- Apps: Teams offers a plethora of apps that can be used to share information or get work done faster with your team. Go down to “Apps” on the sidebar or add an App tab to your team by clicking on the “+” sign at the top. Apps like Planner, Polly, OneNote, etc. can be a huge help in virtual scenarios.
Effective learning on online platforms comes through a combination of agreement and understanding. Students should unmute themselves only while speaking and follow proper virtual etiquettes. It is a learning curve for all of us and sometimes just being considerate goes a long way in making a session fruitful.