Student Equity - Landline phones & virtual classes : Fizzics Education

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Student Equity – Landline phones & virtual classes

Student Equity – Landline phones & virtual classes

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One of the troubling situations with online classes is that not all kids have access to the internet. Even if devices are rolled out to these kids, if they simply cannot connect because their family cannot afford the internet they will not be able to participate in live online classes. Whilst there this situation is not the norm, it still is very much an equity issue and something that needs to be considered.

Thankfully there is a workaround!

Joining a video conference with a landline phone

The following will help disadvantaged kids join live classes with their school friends & teacher. Several web conferencing services allow a landline phone to join a video conference.

  1. This is done by the student using their phone to dial a phone number supplied by the conferencing software.
  2. The student then adds the same meeting code that is supplied for the other students who join the virtual meeting with their computers or tablets.
  3. The host then unmutes and mutes the student’s landline phone, just as they should with every other student when allowing for child protection.
  4. Optional: some conferencing software will allow you as the host to change the name of the phone numbers that join the meeting. This will make it much easier to identify who is speaking!

Now, not all web conferencing have this functionality (seriously, there are over a hundred conferencing software titles to choose from!). We currently use the following software which still preserves interactivity for live online classes and with which also have the settings that keep the meetings child-safe (learn more about safety controls needed here). As some of the following guides assume the participant has internet, you will need to call your student to give them dialling numbers and the meeting room number instead.

Please note, software changes all the time. The following guides may become outdated soon.

As you browse the links above, you can see that not all conferencing software treats the issue the same and in some cases the functionality is difficult and not user friendly. Still, if your organisation has required you to use one of the products above, at least you have something to work with to help with the student equity issue.

BTW, if you’re curious about joining the live interactive science classes we’ve offered for years, the following 40 programs are available now:

Happy teaching,

Ben Newsome

Ben Newsome smiling

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