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Online Learning Communications and Video Conferencing Tips

There are several options the Steelton-Highspire School District is using to communicate and collaborate with its teachers, students, and parents. We are not limited to the following ways of communication but these are some of the primary methods and some tips on how to use them.

School Website: Each teacher has a school website. They have their contact information on their site. As a school district, we use Google GSuite set of applications and Google Classroom to do much of our online learning. Each teacher has a different way of teaching online but the majority are using Google Classroom and will have links form their teacher website to there online learning resources. 

School Email: Every staff member has a email address and they also have a Gmail address. the email addresses are the official business-oriented addresses that staff use and the email addresses are used primarily to communicate with the students through the Chromebooks and the Google GSuite internal school domain. this allows the teachers and students to email each other while protecting the students from the outside email world.

School Phone Numbers: Each teacher has an extension and is checking voicemails throughout the day.  

Individual staff members will communicate with the parents of the students that are in their classes the best way to contact them. 

Zoom: Zoom is an online video conferencing communication tool. Teachers, Students, and Parents can create an account for free. There are paid options also if needed.     

Google Meet: Google Meet is a way for teachers and students to connect directly through their Google GSUITE set of applications on their Chromebooks. It is also a chat and Video Conference Communication tool that is free and widely used.

Online Learning Video Conferencing Security Recommendations

  1. Do not post the zoom link publicly on social media, websites, etc.
  2. Only send the Zoom link to the people that you want to join the session via email and ask that they do not share the information
  3. Make sure you set up the Zoom Session to use the waiting lobby so you can admit people that join the session and deny people that you don’t know. ( This is probably the most important one and Zoom did turn this feature on by default but please make sure you keep it on and are using it.)
  4. Make sure you require a password for the zoom session
  5. Make sure you change the meeting settings to prohibit screen-sharing other than the instructor
  6. Make sure you change the meeting settings to turn off video sharing upon entry
  7. You can mute everyone’s microphones at the beginning if you want to, although that is not critical
  8. Lock the meeting after it starts and all your intended participants have joined( if a participant gets disconnected you may have to unlock the meeting for them to be able to join back in then lock it again after they join)

The teachers use many other types of online applications that are too numerous to list here. Please visit your child's teacher's website often and watch for communications via email from the school district and teachers to stay up to date on all learning initiatives.