Traditionally, in the beginning of the school year, teachers go over rules and expectations for their physical classroom. An example of this may be to have students raise their hands before speaking, knock on the door before entering the classroom, etc.
When teaching in the digital classroom, these expectations need to be refreshed to align with the digital environment. A good way to do so is by looking at areas that need attention and tailoring your digital classroom rules accordingly.
Below are SIX vital types of digital classroom rules to help you develop your own and keep your digital classroom management efforts strong and effective.
Remember, this list should be revisited throughout the school year to ensure consistency.
1. Virtual Meetings’ Etiquette
Here’s an example of what your virtual meetings’ rules or etiquette should look like:
Once completed, post it in your virtual classroom environment, or provide each student with a copy. Remind students to revisit it when necessary.
A few controls to check on your part:
1. Control mic settings to make sure students can’t mute each other.
2. Control Participants to prevent unwanted users from joining or knocking (requesting to rejoin).
3. Manage who can share their screen and who can send chat messages within a meeting.
4. You’ll also want to track Meeting usage to understand how your students are actually using it and how much time you’re virtually engaging with them.
2. Online Safety Rules
As we prepare and lead through the digital classroom, it’s important to set rules that help us ensure our students’ online safety.
One way to teach students about staying safe online and develop rules accordingly is to have them complete Google’s Be Internet Awesome.
It teaches them about digital citizenship and internet safety in a gamified environment — which we all know, students love!
3. Chat App Rules
Irrelevant conversations in Chat apps are the new form of ‘classroom side talks’’. And while you can easily spot side talk in the physical classroom, the digital classroom can be trickier.
First you’ll need to develop rules on how and when students can use Chat apps in class. You can also monitor Chat usage per user and get precise reports on where students are spending their time online.
4. Inappropriate Behavior or Comments
Inappropriate behavior or comments take various forms in the digital classroom . From virtual bullying to deliberately causing disorder. That’s why deviations from what’s appropriate should not be tolerated.
Develop your own list of inappropriate behaviour, and instead of punishing the student and revoking digital permissions, use this as a teachable moment.
For example, allow the student to delete the comments posted and reflect on their behavior by creating a video to improve their digital interactions.
5. Real Attendance
Remind students that real attendance isn’t just about logging in and off. It’s more about actively following up, staying engaged and contributing. Being distracted by side tasks, irrelevant activities, etc. should not be accepted.
|Monitoring real attendance in Google Workspace
Google Sheets is ideal for recording which students turn up to class and sharing that data with school administrators.
Meanwhile, GAT Shield allows teachers to track times where students were connected to their designated Classrooms, monitor how long they stayed in the Classroom, how much time they spent on every site while browsing on Google Chrome sessions.
6. Assignments Rules
Make sure you’re clear with students on how you expect them to complete assignments. This is super important to ensure a smooth flow of your Classwork.
Assignment rules can cover things like due dates, posting questions or answers on assignments, how assignments should be submitted for grading, etc.
You’ll also need to provide quality and actionable feedback on assignments and always check if students need help.
Maintain a POSITIVE tone
Write your digital expectations or rules using a positive tone. Use words like “please’, “yes”, and “and”. Refrain from negative words like “no”, “but”, and “do not”.
This helps students feel more comfortable in your class and connect with you better.
Engage and Involve them
It’s always nice to include your students in these rules or expectations from the start, that way they’ll become a lot more meaningful for them.
Brainstorm a list of digital classroom rules with your students using tools like Jamboard. Once completed, post the Jam in your Google Classroom as a material post and remind them to re-visit if necessary.
Looking for more resources to support your teaching and learning? Check out the best education technology resources on our sister platform EdTech Impact.