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Video Conferencing Guidelines for Students & Families

Preparing for Video Conferencing


GET READY

For Students: Your teacher has sent an invite to you or your family through your UCDSB email, D2L, or Microsoft Teams. Check what day and time you will be meeting. Ensure you only use your UCDSB account to access all tools. Do NOT use a personal email account.

For Families: The Upper Canada District School Board supports the appropriate use of video conferencing and virtual meetings for educational purposes, with a focus on privacy and security issues. Virtual sessions offer a range of possibilities for program delivery to students including audio only collaboration, or audio and video collaboration for remote and distance learning.

PLEASE NOTE: The only exception to this direction may occur in the remaining weeks of the current school year. As teachers transition to using only Board-supported tools and UCDSB student emails, they may still provide access to Teams meetings by sending a link to a parent’s private email address using the BCC function. Effective September 2020 should distance learning continue, only UCDSB student email addresses will be used to invite students to distance learning sessions which will be held only on Board-supported platforms. 


UNDERSTAND THE TOOL

For Families: Before allowing your child to connect using a video conference tool, make sure you know the purpose and intent from the teacher. If necessary, participate in the first video conference to support your child and help them with the settings.


GET PERMISSION

For Students: If you are under 13, make sure you have your family’s permission to participate. You do not need an account! The link from your teacher is all you need to connect through your UCDSB account.

For Families: Moving forward, you will be asked to allow your child to participate in future video conferences to support remote/virtual learning during this time. The teacher may be checking in with the class to see how they are doing and/or providing instruction.
  • You may choose to turn the camera off on the student’s device, or cover it, if you are uncomfortable. Your child will still see the teacher video and hear the conversation.

  • Your child DOES NOT need to create an account to participate in a video conference. They should not sign-up for any video conference accounts without your consent.

  • Your teacher will be using Microsoft Teams, or the Virtual Classroom tool in D2L. Each of these must be tied to your child’s Upper Canada DSB email account. Do NOT use private email accounts for access.

  • Using only Upper Canada email accounts inside UCDSB’s approved platforms, helps protect people ’s privacy and helps keep our data secure.

CHECK THE INVITE

You and/or your child will receive a link through their UCDSB email, or in Microsoft Teams or their D2L Online classroom.


APPROPRIATE CLOTHING

For Students: If your teacher enables the camera option, you will be seen from your shoulders up. Please wear school appropriate clothes.

For Families: If your child has the camera enabled, please be sure they are dressed. This includes any family members that may run through behind your child’s camera. Be aware of the surroundings of where the child will be participating in the home


CHECK THE TECHNOLOGY

Check the audio to make sure your speakers are not turned off. You will be able to check the mic when you get to the video conference program. Figure out how to turn on/off the mic and/or video in the conference tool.


CHOOSE A QUIET AREA

Try to find a place to set up the device where it is quiet with few distractions so you can engage in the conference. Try to keep other siblings and pets free from the conference.


CHECK THE LIGHTING


Make sure you have front lighting so your teacher and classmates can see your face. A window in the background may create shadows on your face and others will not be able to see you.


CHECK THE CAMERA FRAMING

Make sure that your face and shoulders are centered in the frame of the camera.


CHECK YOUR BACKGROUND

Make sure whatever is behind you, and visible to the camera, is simple and school appropriate.


DURING VIDEO CONFERENCING
  1. Be prompt
  2. Understand Expectations
  3. Follow Instructions

BE ON TIME

Click on the time when your teacher has scheduled the video conference. Actually, you may want to join a couple minutes early, just to be safe!


BE READY

The program may ask you to do a few things after you click on the link. Some tools ask you to download a client or connect by browser. Use the browser option, if possible. It may ask to allow the microphone and camera, click on allow. If the teacher set up a waiting room, you will get a message that the host will open the meeting shortly. Be sure to check your microphone and sound before the conference.


TROUBLESHOOT

You may have some technology difficulties. Check the settings on the video conference interface. The video and microphone icons usually have settings close by. Also, use the chat function to communicate with the teacher/others. You may be able to get help from the chat. Listen for Expectations! You may or may not be muted when entering the room. Check to see if your mic is on. The teacher will talk about the expectations and functions of the video conference tool.


LISTEN FOR EXPECTATIONS

Your child may be muted when entering the room. This means that nobody will be talking except the teacher. The teacher will talk about the expectations and functions of the video conference tool. It will be awesome! Please help your child with the expectations and how to use the tools.


LOOK AT THE CAMERA

If you get a chance to talk, look into the camera on your device so your teacher and classmates feel like you are looking at them. Follow Directions! It is important that all participants follow the directions of your teacher to avoid distractions. Help your teacher and classmates enjoy this limited time together. It is good practice to turn your video and/or mic off when you are not speaking. This also allows the platform to work more easily for everyone.

 
SAY GOODBYE

The teacher will end the video conference. This will close the video conference window. Make sure you understand the assignment/action (if any) from the video conference.




AFTER THE VIDEO CONFERENCE - FOLLOW UP

The teacher may follow up with a survey or instructional materials. You certainly can connect with your teacher if you have feedback, questions or need clarification. We are all learning and want to hear your voice!
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