I’ve been a teacher for twenty-seven years, covering everything from common and higher education, to courses for faculty members and corporate trainers. I live and work out of the small town of Howe, OK and love the ability to bring new opportunities to my students. Right now, I’m teaching online classes our regional college throughout the year as well as music classes at the local high school. With the help of Cisco Webex video conferencing, I’ve been able to expand on-going learning opportunities for my local and online students, as well as other teachers across the world. Webex is an amazing conduit for learning that isn’t limited to any specific grade, age or station in life. Here’s how it works…
Setting the stage
Learning happens ‘round the clock, but it’s often hard to schedule opportunities to work with individuals outside of the set class time. It is quite honestly one of the most difficult tasks in my teaching. Available times vary wildly from week to week, and between my schedule and those of my students (both online and in the classroom), their parents, and open facility availability, “get-togethers” are difficult to coordinate. Gone are the days of putting up a piece of paper sign-up sheet outside my office door.
How Cisco Webex Education Connector Works
I need to use a tool where both I and my students already “live.” The tool that all my classes have in common is the learning management system. This system is where my assignment due dates, grades and quizzes already live. And now, thanks to the Cisco Webex Education Connector, it’s also how I schedule my office hours at the college, as well as my parent and teacher conferences at the high school. The Cisco Webex Education Connector plugs directly into my course and provides a straightforward way to choose a time, determine a window of “buffer” or “break” between meetings, and give each of my students a unique meeting location, whether on or off campus.
Office hours and parent/teacher conferences aren’t the only use cases. As an educator, I can customize the Webex Education Connector to operate based on my workflow and preferences. From group classroom collaboration, to video conferencing meetings, to office hours, it’s the same process.
Additionally, class rosters are synchronized with the Webex cloud. There’s no worry about who can access what, the connector takes care of all of that. This means that I can communicate with my students or their parents, share files, and automatically distribute reminders to join classes. As a teacher, I can chat with individual learners or groups, and I can also start a live video call with them whenever they need help. It’s so easy! There’s no external place I need to go to. It’s all within the learning management system. The collaboration tool is organically tied to where the class materials exist.
In just a few clicks, I can schedule all my classes for the school year. I can even delete sessions if I know there are holidays or other events happening. Creating everythingonce, via a single interface, keeps it simple. I can choose to record any or all of my class meetings, and every recording is automatically linked inside the LMS with an encrypted password. As a teacher, I have unlimited recording storage. That means I’ll never run out of “space” in the middle of class. When scheduling a live class, I can set up multiple different hosts or team teachers so my they ca start the session for me.
If you’re considering this workflow, Cisco has created a thorough step-by-step guide that helps the adoption of Webex in your educational environment. It includes promotional tools, lesson plans, and specific tips for teachers, students, and admins! There is no cost for this guide and I encourage you to check it out here.
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