As students, teachers, parents and administrators settle into a new school year, ensuring that technology can support a new way of learning, that is secure, is top of mind for all. Some will return to the physical classroom with new social distancing safety measures in place, while others will pick up where they left off and resume online-only courses. Most will take a blended approach. To help educators meet the needs of their students, today Cisco Collaboration announced a preview of Webex Classrooms, which adapts Cisco’s highly secure platform to meet the specific online learning needs for the hybrid classroom.
Cisco Webex Classrooms is a secure go-to place for teachers, students, and parents to more naturally connect. It provides a classroom structure where students and teachers can organize classes, review syllabuses, schedule and launch classes, host virtual office hours and more. Students can easily connect with each other or simply access course resources, and parents can stay involved too – by easily scheduling virtual parent-teacher conferences.
“The School District of Pickens County is well-prepared to educate our students with the choice that best meets their learning needs—in the traditional classroom, in a virtual school, or in a secure hybrid-environment with Cisco Webex collaboration tools and Schoology as our Learning Management System (LMS),” said Barbara Nesbitt, Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services.
Webex Classrooms works together with Webex Meetings to enable hybrid learning solutions and easy video calling. Schools around the globe have been using Webex for hybrid learning.
Cisco has highlighted many new capabilities for Webex Meetings in education to help teachers, students, parents and IT staff manage a new way of learning in the following ways:
For Teachers: Cisco has added new features to Webex Meetings that also allow you to focus on educating your students.
• Lock your virtual classroom door. Auto-lock meetings so that only signed-in users and students can join. You set the policy – guests wait in the lobby until admitted or are not able to join at all.
• Breakout rooms for better learning. Build more dynamic learning into your online classroom. Place participants into small groups for more focused video discussions where they can share content and problem solve together. Monitor and join breakouts as needed or send broadcast messages to let session participants know about important updates or the end of this portion of class.
• An orderly classroom experience. With Webex hard-mute options, remove distractions and better control your virtual class. Hand-raisers rise to the top of the list so you never miss a question. With Webex co-hosting capabilities, your teacher’s aide can help you juggle more than one class at a time.
• Energize your class. With Webex devices, optimize classroom and teaching experiences for everyone. Standup, sit-down, walk around – Webex device presenter track keeps the focus on you and allows you to move naturally around the classroom. Remote students are brought into the classroom, keeping them engaged and energized.
For students: Students learn best with an environment that is engaging, fun, and helps them learn – securely and without limits.
• Learn at your own pace. WebEx Assistant for Meetings enables live transcripts during the meeting so everyone can follow along no matter their learning style. Action items, highlights, and class sessions are recorded along with the full transcript, so it’s easy to go back and review anytime.
• Stay connected to school friends. With Webex Teams, students can message, share, co-create, whiteboard, and call their study group – all within a single app, anywhere, on any device.
For Parents: Parents play a huge role in successful learning and often serve as hall monitor, teacher’s aide, tutor, and more.
• Virtual parent/teacher conferences. With Webex Teams, it’s easy for teachers to create virtual spaces with parents to meet 1:1, share learning updates, assignments, and more.
• A better way to manage homework. Are you the designated homework monitor? Webex Assistant makes it easy to view classroom notes and highlights, or even review the class recordings to track progress and provide assistance.
For IT: IT enables safe learning environments. Cisco has some more good stuff for you.
• Simple and secure right out of the box. Webex supports pre-defined education templates and security settings for virtual classroom experiences, so it is easier than ever to set up your virtual class safely and securely.
• Works with more of the tools you use today. Webex Education Connector now seamlessly integrates with Schoology, in addition to other LMS like Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard, and more.