Wednesday, November 1, 2017

There Are Moments When You Realize That Teaching Is Never Going To Be the Same

My mom said, "You can't teach a graduate course at the same time you're handing out Halloween candy," so I had to take a screen shot to respond, "Oh, yes I can."

We can. It's The Jetsons It is now. ZOOM, a digital conferencing tool, is owned by our campus and available to faculty. I simply created a conference room, sent my students a link, and they all congregated into the same room so we could have class as regularly scheduled (and allow many to be with their little trick or treaters in the comfort of their own homes).

I've attended many sessions as meetings, but never used the system to run my own courses. I was able to share my screen, so my presentation and notes were just like we were in class, plus I could pull up websites and discuss them, too (which is what Peter did to share a teacher source for writing that offered many visual prompts).

We all agreed that it was a safe, comfortable environment, but felt we transitioned nice to the digital forum simply because we've had much face-to-face time to establish relationships.

I do know, in the future, this will be a great alternative to snowy nights later this winter when schools close and students will ask, "Is the University closed?" It will be simple to host class from home on such occasions, which will definitely be a cure for the tight, need-to-fit-everything-in reality of college teaching. Every class counts.

I believe there will be a day when such teaching is a norm, and as much as I'd like to say the traditional classroom will likely triumph, I do think this online world works, too - perhaps a hybrid for instruction. I now can scratch it off my bucket list of things I wanted to try and I have to say (like the digital conference session I ran last week) that is works.

I now want to send out an invite to my parents, my aunts and my uncles to have family reunions in a similar way. I simply need to arrange it! It would be great to see them all together again.

Hello, November. You snuck up on me rather quickly.

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