Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Web Conferencing eh?
getting kicked out of my own session was a new experience for me. i have to admit that i did panic and it felt like forever until i was able to get back into the meeting. after class when i read the chat logs, i had a good chuckle seeing when students finally clued in that i had disappeared from the attendee list. i was thrilled, however, to see that they kept talking to each other, including about what chapters they were interested in, and then started joking about who would take over if i didnt make it back in.
as a teacher there is definitely a sense of disconnect as you cant see the visual cues that one takes for granted in a face-to-face [f2f] setting. things like how attentive the students are being, do they seem to be following along or do i need to adjust my pace? etc. online those cues are lost and i wonder if the students feel this way too. i found that i'd resort to asking my students to answer yes or no to questions so that i could figure out if things were ok and on track. then when i was talking i was very aware of the 'silence' and at times felt like i was talking out into a void. flip the coin to the other side, i felt so frustrated for the students who were have technical difficulties - i kept worrying about how these distractions were effecting their experience. i was happy too thought to see that students started helping each other out and giving advice when people needed to troubleshoot issues, including when we got to creating the blogs.
anyway these are first steps. i look forward to exploring this further and hope that my students will still be on board with me...