Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Teaching From Home–Day 2

My advisory (homeroom) was interesting. For one thing I realized that there isn’t the chatter between students in the room. I’m pretty sure they are texting and what not but even these “digital natives” like to talk in real life. I did get to talk to them a bit. These students are juniors and this is the third year they have advisory with me so I’ve gotten to know them. That personal relationship would be hard, if not impossible, to have if we’d been meeting online this whole time.

Students are finding it a bit hard to go to school online. Someone else will have to figure out what about it is hard. But I do think it is too much screen time. Time of a different sort than playing games or watching TV. I wonder if it is a bit easier because there has been time to build a face to face relationship with teachers though. It has been my experience that even a little “in real life” time interaction makes online interactions run better and with less friction.

We’re going to stick with four classes a day rather than go to six a day as we had originally planned. I think that is wise. It will be more consistent compared to a rotating schedule that we are used to. We’re also going to be starting classes later than we did in person. I can see advantages to that already as kids are getting more sleep just not having to travel to school.

So far I have discovered one disadvantage of Google Meet. Anyone can mute anyone else, take over presenting from anyone else, and drop anyone else from the meet. Only a problem if you have jokesters in the class. You can guess how I learned this. Zoom has a free option and I may try that. It comes highly recommended.

In a cooperative class things went very well in deed though. I found that having students share their screen when they had issues with code let me model some debugging for the whole class. I did a bit of one to one this way after the class was finished. It’s almost easier than running around the room, tripping over bookbags, and looking at a screen from a bad angle.

Presenting online has a whole different feel to it. One can’t see the faces of the students. I really miss that. I feel very disconnected. That may be the biggest downside for me. I actually like being with my students.


Garth said...

I just got this from another school tech:
Just a heads up when using Google Meet...
Attendees are able to mute and remove other attendees from the meeting, which is not ideal.
To get around this, an admin needs to disable cookies in the Meet options for the student groups...this will prevent them from removing and muting others...teacher groups will continue to have that functionality...
Minor problem, I cannot find where to turn cookies off. No Meet options. More digging needed.

Laurie C. said...

Zoom (and many other tech edu companies) is giving free upgrade on education accounts for now. So you can sign up from your work address and get unlimited meeting length etc for free.

My school is all Microsoft Teams which has many benefits, but I like the simplicity, clarity and presentation of meetings in Zoom better.

Garth said...

That Google Meet solution is only for Chrome devices and is done through the device manager.. Bummer.