Insights in Your

Online classrooms have grown in popularity over the past decade, and with the outbreak of COVID-19, the number of virtual classrooms has skyrocketed this year.  For some, it’s even a necessity.  While the current Insights resources weren’t initially designed for online teaching, we want to accommodate your needs.  Keep reading for 3 ways you can use Insights in your virtual classroom.

Slideshows

Slideshows are the best tools we currently have available for online teaching.  Whether you’ve got one on your browser or downloaded to your desktop, you can screen-share to display it to your virtual class.  Each slideshow contains the same visuals as our videos, but the audio and pacing have been removed.  This allows you to progress through the lesson using our methods, but with a few advantages:

Student-Appropriate Pacing

You control the pace, which means it will go as fast or as slow as is needed for your students' comfort and proficiency level.

Your Teaching Style

You explain it your way. We'd love for you to teach a topic using our methods, but you might express it in a slightly different way. Students might be more responsive to your personal teaching style anyway, especially if you've had these students for a while.

Room for Questions

It's easy to stop at any point to address questions your students have. We think our videos are great, but they don't have the ability to answer specific questions. That's one of the reasons teachers are invaluable.

Interactivity

The lesson can be interactive with slideshows. When students watch the videos themselves, solutions are handed to them. When you instead present the topic yourself (with the help of a slideshow), you can ask students questions or give them examples, then have them figure out the solutions before you click for the next animation.

Insiders enjoy access to all of our slideshows, and we’ll be releasing new versions with better interactivity on Google Slides in the fall of 2020.  We’ll also have instructions/tips on how to prepare, and how to present.

Online

Mini-Courses

Insights to English is currently working on a new series of mini-courses that teachers and students can use together online.  Each will contain six to twelve lessons, will focus on a particular set of related grammar topics (instead of covering a wider scope), will be based around stories, and have many other features we’re not ready to share with the public quite yet.  We’ll also make sure it has multiple ways for students to engage with the material on their computers and mobile devices.

We’ve only just begun developing these courses and have a long way to go, but rest assured that this is high on our priority list.  It may take a year or two before the first course comes out, so we’re going to ask for your assistance now.  We could use your support to get the resources we need to continue then finish development.  Become an Insider or purchase a Grammar Guidebook.  And tell your fellow educators about Insights to English.  The more Insights grows financially, the sooner we can release these courses!

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Videos

The easiest Insights resources to access are our videos.  Most of them are How-to-Teach Grammar, meaning they are designed for teachers, not for students.  You can read more about why we don’t recommend showing the videos directly to students on our How It Works page.  However, we understand that for various reasons, many teachers choose to show our videos to their students.  If you plan on doing this, we recommend the following:

Turn on Subtitles

Since two native speakers having a conversation can seem a little fast for English learners, reading along with subtitles often helps.

Pause Often

Whenever the video wraps up one point and starts to move on to the next, pause to check comprehension and address questions. Also try pausing half-way through an example to see if your students can solve it before the video reveals the solution.

Watch It Twice

Especially if the topic is new for your students, give them more exposure to the idea. The first time through can be big-picture, then focus on details the second time around.

Also, we have a new set of videos titled “10 Things to Know”.  Unlike the How-to-Teach set, 10TK is for students and teachers alike.  Watch these with your students, and as you do so, (especially because those videos move pretty fast,) pause after each number to cover that point more in depth or explore more examples.