Earlier this week, a hilarious viral video demonstrated the importance of proper video conferencing etiquette. In the video, which was quickly shared across Facebook and other social platforms, a cat appeared to show up for a legal meeting over video call. But once the cat started talking, the attendees quickly realized that the other lawyer involved in the case had accidentally turned on an amusing filter feature! “I’m not a cat,” the lawyer informed them, probably unnecessarily. He then proceeded to struggle with removing the amusing feature.
So, that brings us to our first remote learning tip: Make sure to familiarize yourself with your video conferencing platform! In your down time – not during class – explore the features with a friend. That way, you’ll know how to use everything. Or, perhaps more importantly, you’ll know how to turn off any unfortunate features that accidentally become activated during class.
Getting dressed, as if you’re actually attending class in person, will also make a difference. For one thing, your teachers and peers will view you as more professional if you show up looking the part. But you will also feel a difference in your confidence and preparedness. Something about removing pajamas and putting on clean, fresh clothes really changes the mindset.
And, of course, make sure to fully participate in your classes. Turn on your camera (without the cat filter, of course) so that your teachers can see your face. This helps them to gauge your interest and understanding, and it makes the session feel like “real class” to other students as well. But do mute your microphone when it isn’t your turn to speak, because random household noises certainly don’t contribute in the right away. You can probably save yourself a bit of unintended embarrassment this way, too.
Yes, remote learning via video can induce temptation to let things slide a bit. Maybe you think no one will notice your pajama pants, or that turning off your camera will save you a bit of grooming time. But someday we’ll all be attending in-person classes again, and those who gave into “pandemic laziness” will face a harsh adjustment period. Try to make class feel as “real” as possible now, and you’ll transition back to face-to-face classes much more easily when the time comes.