Starting remote lessons? Here are a few things to consider before you begin:
1. Who calls who?
The two most common options are 1. standing meeting rooms vs. 2. one-way calls. Think conference call number vs. calling the student and merging others in (respectively).
Standing meeting room is the easiest because your number/ID does not change lesson to lesson and each of your students can call in to this same number. Some services have this in their free level. Others offer it only as a paid option.
For occasional lessons, you can do one-way calls and send multiple invites at a time if it’s a group lesson, but for regular classes it would be best to use the standing meeting room. Make sure it’s clear to your students which approach you will be using.
2. Know which lessons are Remote and which ones are in person
If you do both, you may get confused so make sure you have this clearly written down. Better Practice makes this easy for you by designating lessons on your schedule as “Remote”. When you set or edit the lesson times, select that it is a remote lesson. The conference id will then appear on your student’s screen to make it easy for them to dial-in.
3. Set Up Ground Rules
Set up some rules upfront to make the sessions run smoother. Not having a physical presence there makes a difference for some students. Some examples:
- Use the bathroom before the lesson. No bathroom breaks during the lesson!
- Set up your device(s) before the lesson
- Turn off all background distractions - TVs, radio, Netflix, etc.
- Limit background noise - no background conversations, try to have others leave the room if possible
- If using one device, try to have the camera fit both face and hands in the frame, or point device to face when not playing.
4. Have a backup
Have phone or text messaging as a backup on hand. There
may will be temporary problems like audio not working, etc. Having a backup way to communicate makes getting started much easier.
5. Record the Meeting
If the service has the ability to record the meeting (you would have to end and start a new meeting with the same ID between students), do so and post the link in the assignments so students can go back if needed. Or just trim/record snippets of the lesson and add those to the assignment for students to review.
If you are moving to online lessons for the first time, Better Practice can help make it easier. Our app facilitates easy communication, keeping track of assignments, monitoring practice, and keeping your studio community engaged. Even if you don't see your students in person, you will feel like you're working more closely with them than ever.