Webex: Enabling your hybrid classroom
An education environment that embraces live classroom sessions, streaming, and on-demand videos for students can create a learning environment that is almost as personal and effective as in-person education.
Webex allows learners to adapt content to their learning needs, take and compare comprehensive notes, collaborate in study groups, absorb complex materials, and much more. As distance is no longer a factor, guest lectures can present original content from a remote location as they needn’t travel to a specific site. Challenges like severe weather or heavy commutes are ancient history.
Educators juggling different learning styles and trying to connect with colleagues across campus while finding that delicate work-life balance face a great challenge.
Speaking from personal experience
As the child of two immigrants from Haiti, my education experience was vastly different from that of most of my peers back in high school.
Floating between identities and navigating multiple cultural worlds–a French education system background with Haitian Creole spoken at home within an English-learning environment–offered its share of complexities. Imagine being a child and having to translate what should be a parent-teacher conversation for your single parent.
Tips for you to succeed
Our newly designed Webex for education landing page provides guides to help you connect, engage, share, and balance it all in a rich multimedia environment. Follow these best practices to help you stand out in your hybrid classroom:
1. Can you see me?: Overlay your video into your class presentation, so students retain their focus on you. For a productive and immersive experience, ask students to turn on their cameras during class and customize the layout to your preference. While it is not quite like being face-to-face, it is the next best thing when you cannot be there in person.
2. Leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI): Keep students connected regardless of distance or learning style with real-time translation. With its voice command capability, Webex Assistant can capture and transcribe key moments in the classroom and set up reminders for assignments.
3. Get creative and foster collaboration: Let students solve problems and break down concepts using live virtual whiteboards in small groups or during one-on-ones. Webex has dozens of engaging tools you can use to share and swap ideas creatively in real time.
4. Promote interaction: Avoid lecture fatigue and encourage students to use animated reactions to express themselves without interrupting the lesson.
5. Encourage participation: Providing real-time feedback is a wonderful way to foster learning in the classroom. With Slido, you can poll participants in real time. Ask questions for feedback in seconds, run interactive Q&A sessions, and even host fun quizzes.
6. Give students a safe space to chat: It is essential to have students talk amongst themselves. With breakout sessions in Webex, your virtual space is like a real-world space. You can pause proceedings in a couple of clicks so people can take five to chat.
7. Record your classes to help students stay on track: With the click of a button, students can take a break from handwriting or typing out notes to listen or catch up if they missed a class–allowing them to learn at their own pace and view content as often as they’d like.
8. Back-to-back burnout: Calendars can quickly fill up between teaching and staff meetings. Overloaded days can limit your productivity, so review your calendar and double-check if you truly need to be in a meeting or if you can send a video message via Vidcast or start a live chat in a Webex space.
9. Well-being is essential: Block out calendar time, so you have time to do your job—plus periods to take a break. Track your well-being with personal insights to manage staff meetings, class sessions, work-life balance, focus time, and connections outside the classroom.
As a teacher, we know you are keen to organize dynamic and rich learning for your new students to create lasting connections beyond the school year. Webex end-to-end encryption prevents third parties or unauthorized eavesdroppers from accessing your classroom activities—whether it is voice, video, shared documentation, or live chat messaging. It is a no-compromise approach that ticks all the security boxes so you can focus on your students.
More than a decade later, I use features like closed captioning in meetings with team members from Asia. I wished that and many of the tools Webex offered were available for my mother and me. As technology evolves, a hybrid educational collaboration system can facilitate flexibility, support multinational students, overcome distance limitations, and even reduce certain costs.
Adopting a mixed learning environment as an integral part of school curricula for students of all ages successfully can provide immersive and inclusive virtual learning experiences at scale, ultimately expanding access to learners on campus and worldwide. Is your school already accelerating in the hybrid learning model? Share your approach on the Webex education community.
If you want to learn how Webex can drive student success in a hybrid learning environment, we have a dedicated site packed with handy resources for educators, students, IT admins, and faculty members. Check it out here.
Dec 2, 2022 — Lorrissa Horton
Dec 2, 2022 — Emily Brooks