Tips by Emily Marshall, M.S. CCC-SLP and Advanced traveler.
With many school districts across the country participating in distance learning this school year, either fully virtual or hybrid, getting prepared for day one is even more important. To help you become a teletherapy master, we wanted to share some helpful tips that will come in handy while using two of the most popular platforms—Zoom and Google Meet.
Lose the Background Noise
Did you know that you can cancel out unwanted background noise from your call? You can send these instructions to your families or older students so that they can decrease background noise in their home in order to limit distracting stimuli.
What to Do:
- After opening Zoom, click Settings and then Audio.
- Click on Advanced in the lower right corner.
- Check the box to show in-meeting option to Enable Original Sound from mic.
- Set to Aggressive to Suppress Persistent Background Noise and Intermittent Background Noise
Use the Waiting Room
You can send your participants back into the waiting room in case your client needs a short break, or you need to review documents during an evaluation/eligibility process.
What to Do:
- During the call, click Participants on the bottom toolbar.
- Hover over the name of the participant you would like to put in the waiting room, and click More, then Put in Waiting Room.
- When you’re ready to readmit them, click Admit like you did at the start of the meeting!
Enable annotation so that your participants can actively engage with the materials you’re showing on screen. This is great to ensure students are following directions (e.g., circle a certain picture) and reading/writing (e.g., add text to caption a picture or fill in the blank in a line of text)—and you can add questions or text to the screen as you go.
What to Do:
- First, turn annotation on by going to Settings → Meeting → toggle Annotation on.
- To access annotation tools during a meeting, select Share Screen → Screen → Annotate (on the floating tool bar).
Utilize Grid View
Google Meet has a default view as a sidebar, whereas Zoom allows a gallery view that enables you to see everyone at once. Fear not! You can download an extension for google meet that allows you to use grid view, so that you can see all of your students at once while running a group session!
What to Do:
- Download the extension to your google chrome browser
- Send the link to your students/clients so that they can download the extension as well, so that they can also view in the grid format and see each other!
Take the Shortcuts
Learn helpful keyboard shortcuts to streamline your video chat experience!
Two examples are:
- Turn your camera on or off: Cmnd (Ctrl) + E
- Mute or unmute your microphone: Cmnd (Ctrl) + D
Split Your Screen
Split your screen either by opening 2 chrome tabs or by downloading the chrome extension Dualless, so that you can still see your students in one window while you play them a video or activity in another window!
Other Helpful Tips
- Download a screen mirroring app like Lonely Screen AirPlay so that you can show your students something on your phone or tablet while continuing to Zoom on a desktop—this is helpful for modeling AAC selections or demonstrating how to navigate something on a certain app or document.
- Access digital books with a site like https://www.getepic.com/, so you can look at a book together online with a student!
We know that getting the hang of teletherapy can be a process, so we hope these tips and tricks set you up to master your digital platform of choice. Be sure to check out our teletherapy page for more information to better prepare yourself for a successful school year!