Teaching whilst eating ice cream! March 19, 2008Posted by davidit in Uncategorized.
Tags: collaboration, communities, Helen Hardie, inkscape, Meadowbank, remote teaching, Tohatoha
The latest installment of our remote teaching, ‘dial an expert’ initiative has just taken place and how different this lesson was from the last four. How far the students have come, how more relaxed we all were at using this method of instruction. Helen and I have spent the last couple of Friday evening/mornings (depending on which time zone we were in!) ironing out the wrinkles in my real time teaching experiment, where the students would not only hear and see me and me them, but see the program being demonstrated in real time too. We still have have a few image quality issues to resolve, but in essence we have proved, even if it is a little clunky that we can teach via this method. It just needs refining a little more before we launch the procedure on a live class.
Tonight’s lesson was a cracker. We had to use the method that we developed last year, but that was not a hinderance. The students by now have got used to the whole method of me teaching them from afar, although the music teacher who came in to claim a few students was amazed that this kind of teaching could happen at all. It helps that by now the students have mastered the basics of Inkscape and tonight we were able to push on and do some more interesting design work. You can see the resources used in tonights lesson at my latest skrbl page. What really impressed me most about tonight’s lesson was the students. They were coming up to the microphone and webcam and asking questions and further supplementary questions just as they would to a physical entity in their class. Crucially I asked them to give me feed back, ie come back to the camera to let me know that what I had told them had worked and that they had understood it.
Virtual teaching will never replace teachers in classes, but it does have its benefits. Virtual teaching will not enable the education of masses of students for the price of one teacher, but what I hope that it does blossom into, is the whole ‘dial an expert’ model. If you have a skill, why should it be locked up into your classroom so that only 30 or so students are exposed to that skill at any one time? If you have a skill, be it musical, artistic, whatever and you want to share beyond your current class/ school/ district/ country then let me know, I am sure that we can set up a directory of skills and teachers that can be accessed to benefit students no matter where they are…. Oh and the best bit, I was eating ice cream as I taught! Try doing that in the class!