Whether you’re using ProTeach videos as a substitute for when your teacher is out, or as the main source of teaching for your students all year round, keep the following keys in mind to get the most benefit from using ProTeach.
Although your teachers may not be teaching lessons, they’ll still need to be trained in areas like classroom management, discipline, and communicating with parents. The annual Summer Seminar at Pensacola Christian College provides a valuable source of training in these important areas and others, plus a session on how to set up and operate a video classroom.
You’ll need on-site teachers who are experienced in traditional classroom instruction. (However, the number of teachers and helpers you’ll need will vary with the size of your school. Check your state’s requirements for student/teacher ratios.)
So where do you find your helpers?
- Utilize those outside your classroom and look for a mother of one of your students or someone from your church—these make excellent helpers!
- Consider responsible students to monitor video progress as well as distribute and collect homework, seatwork, and test papers.
Proper Classroom Atmosphere
Your classroom will be ready for operation and control once you establish a traditional classroom atmosphere that is conducive to learning as well as require student participation and accountability.
What should you do?
- Pay attention to the video teacher.
- Determine best placement of desks.
Right Classroom Equipment
How you equip your classroom is important for maximum learning. First, you’ll need to be sure you’ve got the right tool for the job.
The following is a list of areas to address:
- Format: DVD or streaming?
- Sound Control
- Teacher Lectern for Each Classroom
- Student Desks
- A 32” monitor for the DVD format
Streaming Format Recommendations
- Viewing screen or projector video input compatible with your PC or device (Individual-student streaming requires a computer for each student.)
- High-speed internet access
- The number of classes that can be streaming at the same time depends on your internet download speed. 1 Mbps of download speed is recommended per class when viewing lessons simultaneously; please refer to the chart below. Please note that the download speed is determined by your internet service provider not Abeka.
- Test your download speed here.
- If your school is in one large room divided into several individual class areas, dividers should be made of a sound-absorbing acoustical material. (Carpeted plywood dividers provide a practical solution.) Carpeting on the floor also helps to absorb sound.
- Individual student headphones (optional) are successful in eliminating most outside sound and keeping the student’s attention on the teacher. A TV with an earphone or headphone jack can accommodate a 4-, 6-, or 8-headphone volume control jack box that allows the student to select a comfortable listening level.
- If the TV does not have an earphone or headphone jack, a headphone amplifier unit will need to be connected to the audio output of the video player. These amplifier units typically have 4 or 6 built-in headphone jacks, so a headphone jack box would not be necessary unless additional headphones need to be connected to a single TV for a larger class.
- If a student is using stereo headphones with a mono headphone jack box or headphone amplifier unit, they will hear audio in only one ear. This can be corrected using a ¼” mono-to-stereo adaptor. Additionally, an adaptor would be needed if the students’ headphones come with a mini-plug connector.
- Classroom furniture should include a lectern for the teacher, which not only helps to reinforce the classroom atmosphere, but also serves as a spot to place manuals for easy reference.
- Finally, it’s important that students have an appropriate workspace that further helps them feel like they’re in a classroom.