Sunday, March 25, 2018

3 Musts-Haves During Virtual Meetings and Conference Calls

Whether you are an innovative educator or a student, in the 21st century, we’re all global learners who make global collaborations. This means being able to effectively interact with people whether they are in your classroom, district, or across the state, country, or world.

You do not want your meetings or calls to look like this:

When you do, there are some protocols to put in place. Here are practices administrators can model for teachers and teachers can model for students.

Here they are:

1) Digital agenda that includes the following...

þ  Stored in a known place (i.e. digital folder or notebook) and linked from the invitation
þ  Timed
þ  Indicate who speaks when
þ  Links to all presentations and materials
o    All resources should be platform agnostic
þ  Attendance checklist for participants to indicate if they are in attendance or not
o    Checklist defaults to absent. When they join, or in advance if they know they will attend, they can update to present
o    This eliminates the need to waste time with a roll call
þ  Directions on how to join from the meeting from various devices i.e. mobile, PC, Mac, Chromebook
þ  Parking lot for off-agenda topics or if any item that lasts too long
þ  Section for notes
o    Eliminates need for a separate email with notes. It’s all in one place.

þ  Check out tips for creating a great agenda here and here.

2) Assign roles

þ  Notetaker
þ  Remote participant monitor
o    Brings chat items to attention of group
o    Ensure those participating remotely have had an opportunity to provide input
o    Watches to see who may want to interject and ensure voices of remote members are included

3) Outline participant protocols

þ  Ask participants to identify themselves when speaking
þ  Ask participants to direct questions to specific people
þ  Have a hand-raising protocol for both face-to-face and remote participants
þ  Ask remote participants to mute themselves, but if the meeting organizer has set participants on mute, they must remember to unmute someone who wants to speak using the hand-raising protocol
þ  Remind participants that should they put the call on hold, they should mute themselves so others are not subjected to background music or messages
þ  Do your best to eliminate background noise (wind, traffic) and distractions (i.e. children/animals)

Your Turn

What do you think? Have you encountered these problems? Are there any suggestions might work for you?  Anything missing?

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