Using Live Classroom



Live Classroom is a teaching tool that will allow students to "attend" a lesson from anywhere they can connect a computer to the Internet. The students are able to raise their hands, talk to the teacher, ask questions (openly for the whole class or privately in a chat), participate in polls, and even share their desktop with the teacher to help solve problems.

Connecting and running the configuration wizard
Our Live Classroom site is at http://magnolia.wimba.com/ . You can log in to the participant area to attend a live classroom session or go to the presenter area to manage your room. The first time that you are participating in, or presenting a live classroom session on a computer, you will need to run the setup wizard to make sure the computer is configured correctly for the presentation. Your computer needs to be running the latest version of Java and Quicktime, and have acceptable audio and video capabilities. You will also need to turn off any pop up blockers and make sure the browser is set up to ask you if the site wants to run Active-X controls.

After that initial time on your computer, you will not need to run the wizard again, unless you move to another computer or your computer has to be formatted and all of the software reinstalled. When you open your live classroom, a window will pop up asking you to run the set up wizard. If you have already run the wizard, you should look below that and click on the link that says "If you have completed the wizard previously, click here to enter."



Setting up your classroom
If you want to create a room, you will need to contact Charlie Brown or Jamie Gustin. Once we set up the room, you can go to http://208.185.78.173/admin/ and log in to configure it and set it up for each lesson.

When you login you will see your room name and several buttons to the right. The second column of buttons is a closed or open door. It is very important that you close your room when you are not using it.

Uploading your presentation
I recommend that you create a presentation to go along with your lessons. This is more work for each lesson, but the visual will make up for the lack of "face to face" interaction. Don't place animation in your slides because they will not run the animation in the Live classroom environment. If you don't want a certain point to appear on a slide until you are ready, then put that point on a separate slide. Automatic transitions won't work either. Each slide is like a separate image. You advance the slides manually, when you are ready.

When the presentation is ready, go to http://208.185.78.173/admin/ and log in with your username and password. You will see your classroom.
  1. Click your classroom and you will get a web page with two sections; Presentation Content and Start Content. The Presentation Content section has two portions;Default Content Folder and Snapshots.
  2. Click the Default Content Folder to view a list of all content that has already been created in that folder.
  3. Click the button to the right labeled New Content. A new page will load that has three options: Upload Content, Add a URL, or Create New Poll.
  4. Click the Browse button in the Upload Content section.
  5. Browse to the location of your presentation, select your presentation, then click Open.
  6. Click Add in the Upload Content section.

It may take a few minutes to go through the process of uploading and processing the presentation, but you should just wait while the page load indicator shows the progress of the page. When the upload is complete, the default content page will load and you will see all of the slides listed in that folder.

Click any slide to get a preview.

Click the check box next to any slide to select it. After you have put a checkmark next to all slides that you want to delete, you can click Delete Selected Items to delete all of the slides with a checkmark next to them.

Running your presentation
When you are in your classroom, you should see your list of slides on the right side of the window. Click on each slide when you are ready to move on to that slide.

Student participation

When you are not physically present, it is very important that you raise the level of participation to keep them engaged in the lesson. Live Classroom has a number of tools available for student participation. Many instructors negin their sessions by using the Drawing tools for students to show where they are located. You can also ask questions and have students respond with a simple yes or no. You can also ask students to respond to survey questions or even short answer questions.

Drawing tools

The drawing tools allow students to place a marker on an image, draw, or even write their name where everyone can see it. Drawing tools can be available for just the instructor or all of the participants. You can turn it on by clicking the button on the right side of the window labeled eboard. When the eboard is visible on the left side of the window you wil see a button labeled enable. Click the enable button and then you can select the users that you want to allow to use the drawing tools.

Generally, you want to enable the drawing tools when there is a slide visible that has specific directions for what the students should do with them.

Raised hand, yes, and no

The students have the ability to raise there hands quietly during a lesson. when you are presenting the lesson, keep an eye on the section of the window that has the participants names. The hand will appear to the right of their name if a student clicks the raise hand button. The student can remove their raised hand by clicking it again and you can remove all raised hands after you answer the question.

You can also ask simple yes or no questions and have students answer with a yes (Green Checkmark) or no (Red X). Students can remove their answer and change their answer. you can remove all of the answers after the students have all responded. You will want to do that before going on because it can become a distraction for students.

Creating surveys and response questions

You can create more extensive questions to keep students engaged or to judge their level of understanding. In the New Content page, you will see an option for Create New Poll. Choose one of the options to create questions for the students to answer.

Click on your Room.
Click the Default Content Folder.
Click the button that is labeled New Content.
Go to the section labeled Or Create New Poll.
Select the option for Multiple Choice then click the button labeled Create.
Type the title of your Poll question. Make sure that it is something that will remind you of the content of the question.
Type the question
Type each of the answer choices.
If you check the box next to Publish Individual Responses then , all of the students will be able to see what everyone else answered.

You will get a report showing how many people have answered the questions. When the poll is complete, you can show the results to the students. If you did not check the box next to Publish Individual Responses, then they will only see the general results. If you did check that bow they will be able to see how every student answered.

Sharing your desktop

Live Classroom will allow you to show your desktop to the students. That way you can demonstrate a procedure such as how to save a file or you can play a video, although that is quite inefficient and would be best left to providing a link for the students.

In the Live Classroom window, click the button labeled Share.
A window will pop up asking who's desktop you want to share. If you want to share someone else's window, then you will need to wait for them to grant approval. If you want to share your desktop, then make sure that your username is selected.
A drop down menu will determine whether you share content on the content frame or in a new window. Select content frame. That means that the participants will see your desktop in the same window. New window will make a new window open on your participants computer.
A window will pop up telling you to drag an icon to the area of your desktop that you want to share.
Open a new application and drag that icon to that window. Then click OK.
Your live classroom window will show a message saying that the Appshare session has started. You will not see what your students can see.
Stop the Appshare session by clicking the Share button and then click End Sharing.

Viewing Other desktops

You can view a student's desktop by following the same procedure. The student will have to allow you to view the desktop and then drag the icon to the window on their computer.

Archiving lessons

When you begin the lesson, you can click the button at the top right that starts recording the lesson. A window will open that says the archive has started. There is a button that says close this window. You can go ahead and close the window. When you are finished, click the stop button to end the recording and archive the lesson. Another window will pop up that says the archive has stopped. You can close that window also. The archive will be posted a few minutes later.

Important principles of distance learning

There are some important things to consider anytime that you conduct a lesson over a distance.

Your physical presence and proximity are important factors in keeping students engaged in a classroom lesson. When you are teaching a distance learning lesson, you don't have those factors. You need to come up with interactive activities to make up for the loss of presence and proximity. Try to create as many ways as possible to get the students to respond and participate in the lesson.

Establish a purpose for the lesson. No one continues to pay attention to a lesson when they begin to get the idea that there is little purpose in continuing. That feeling gets magnified when the student is in a different location than the instructor. Try to design the lesson around a practical purpose and keep the whole lesson close to that purpose.

Don't drag the presentation out too long. It is better to make a relevant assignment for the students to complete, than to try to maintain the student's interest longer than they feel is important.

Recommendations from the Training Classes

I think I will try this first as a tutoring tool for my 8th grade math classes (algebra & geometry)

This will be great for my homebound students or students at AEP.