3 Musts-Haves During Virtual Meetings and Calls

3 Musts-Haves During Virtual Meetings and 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:

[8 Elements Found in Classrooms of Innovative Educators]

1) Digital agenda that includes the following...

* Stored in a known place (i.e. digital folder or notebook) and linked from the invitation

* Timed

*Indicate who speaks when

*Links to all presentations and materials

o All resources should be platform agnostic

* 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

* Directions on how to join from the meeting from various devices i.e. mobile, PC, Mac, Chromebook

* Parking lot for off-agenda topics or if any item that lasts too long

* Section for notes

o Eliminates need for a separate email with notes. It’s all in one place.

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

2) Assign roles

* Notetaker

*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

* Ask participants to identify themselves when speaking

* Ask participants to direct questions to specific people

* Have a hand-raising protocol for both face-to-face and remote participants

*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

*Remind participants that should they put the call on hold, they should mute themselves so others are not subjected to background music or messages

* 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?

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several books and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Tech & Learning.  

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.