Cisco has announced its support for schools during the COVID-19 outbreak, making its Webex tool available for free to schools. Webex supports video conferencing that students and teachers can use to run virtual classes. To help keep classrooms connected, this free service has been expanded in recent weeks, with functions now including meetings for up to 100 people, as well as unlimited use without a limit on how long the class/meeting lasts.
In addition, as well as resources to help IT teams to rapidly plan, deploy and onboard users, Cisco is providing content to support teachers and faculty members to teach remotely. For teachers this includes tips on:
•Building virtual lesson plans
•Preparing students for remote learning
•Facilitating group projects virtually and reaching students at home.
For school and university students this includes guides for virtual group project meetups, and for parents’ FAQs on using Webex to maintain their child’s education.
Cisco is also running daily virtual classes for those new to teaching virtually – presented by Dr Lance Ford.
There is also this class on remote classroom best practices, presented by Laura Hamill.
For further context, there are three simple steps to creating or joining a virtual classroom:
1.Get an account: Sign up for free at Webex.com. If your school is already using Webex, login with your school email address and password. Download the app.
2.Schedule your class: Schedule a Webex for the duration of your class. Invite your students to the session, and they will automatically get instructions on how to join.
3.Start the class: Join the scheduled Webex on your Webex Desktop App. You can also join on your web browser or the Webex mobile app.