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INSTRUCTIONAL GUIDELINE #1 — Maintain Connections and Engagement with Students

Your presence as a teacher and trusted adult in your students’ lives is important. In an online environment, anxiety may be high and it will be essential to connect with your students and find ways for them to engage in learning. It will be beneficial for your students to see you or hear you. By seeing you and hearing you the switch to online learning will feel less impersonal.

Strict attendance and time-bound expectations impede equal access; therefore, no attendance will be taken, and daily schedules should be general in nature without specific start and end times.

How can you do this?

  • Post short daily video updates of no more than 5 minutes. This could be a simple video of instructions; a video explaining the day’s activities; a review of the day; a welcome message each day. Remember, you will become more comfortable if you make this a daily routine.
  • Provide options for video conferencing. Keep in touch with your students through video conferencing. Publish a schedule that gives students the option to join a meeting. Some students will never join in, and some will choose to meet every day. Be mindful of individual circumstances and provide flexibility. 
  • Consider choosing to host office hours through video conferencing. Select 1-2 blocks of time during the day that students or parents can conference with you. 
Canvas Conferences

Canvas includes a built in tool for conferencing. As long as Conferences is turned on in a course, teachers can schedule a virtual meeting or open office. The meeting can be recorded for later viewing.  



Canvas Videos Feature

Canvas has a built-in video recorder that can be accessed in any text field. That means teachers can record themselves and the recording is automatically embedded in the text.




Screencastify is an online tool that allows users to record everything on the screen. Teachers can use this tool to demonstrate how to use online resources. The program allows teachers to record themselves as well. (Or both at the same time.) This is a program that requires a teacher account and is being offered for free.


Google Meet

Google Meet offers a lot of the same features that a Canvas Conference can offer.

Use the link above to get to great some information on how to use Google Meet. There are also some really good tips on how to use an online video conferencing tool to enhance your online instruction and help your students.


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