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Teaching online – a different kind of board

Read about ways of using a virtual board with your online classes
© British Council

If you teach online, it’s likely that you are giving individual classes.

In these situations, using a traditional board isn’t always the best option, because:

  • it’s not easy for learners to see
  • they don’t have a record at the end of the lesson
  • if you teach online from home, you might not have access to a traditional board

Instead, make the most of technology to help you and your learners find an alternative way to make language notes. Your institution might use a platform which includes a screen that you can use a board. If not, and you are teaching online using Skype or Zoom for example, the table below has some suggestions:

What can you use? How can you use it?
A board app such as classroom screen or RealtimeBoard Lots of features similar to a smartboard. You can share your screen with your student. They could also take screenshots. Some apps allow multiple users to write.
Googledocs You could use this to co-author documents.
Microsoft Word/Powerpoint Share your screen so your student can see as you type and highlight. You could send the word document to your student after the class as a record. You can also prepare documents/powerpoints in advance to share during your lesson.
Use the chat in Skype, Zoom, Google hangouts or whatever conferencing tool you are using. Learners can look back in the chat after the lesson. You can also use it to send useful links. Zoom has the advantage of automatically recording your video call, but there is a limit of 40 minutes on the free version.

Over to you

  • If you teach online, what tools and apps do you use?
  • If you don’t teach online, do you use any of the apps and tools described above? How?
© British Council
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