Online Education

Focus on online learning

Maybe I’ll be blunt, I wasn’t very excited about online classes this fall. Like any teacher, I like the class, I notice the students’ reactions and interventions, challenge them, sometimes tease them, go from one team to another during teaching activities, talk and answer their questions face to face. . And at the end of the meeting, there is often someone who wants to discuss a personal situation: it will be a privileged moment to reassure, encourage, console.

A distance learning environment like Zoom is a bit like a TV show, except you are both the host, guest, manager, lighting, cameraman, sound engineer and director! All this happens live in front of fifty students, of whom we will only see the faces of a few. I forgot: you also have to monitor the chat thread where questions and comments come in, manage teamwork, find documents for screen sharing, controls for using the whiteboard, etc., all without looking at a lost person in front of his camera , who is looking for his keys!

We figured it’s just as futile to start a Zoom session without preparation as it is to go on an expedition to the North Pole without food and gear! Technical preparation, of course. Good idea to replace the wireless connection to the ad hoc router with a blue cable. (You can never be too careful when it comes to bandwidth and reliability‚Ķ Show must go on!). Camera, microphone, lighting, background, zoom settings: what to choose? What to decide?

A different experience

But that’s all the easy part! Online teaching is a completely different experience than face-to-face teaching… for both the teacher and the student. It is unrealistic to do in Zoom what we did for three hours in class. Forced to shorten the lessons, we turn to the pedagogy of the flipped classroom: it is no longer the teacher who supplies the material, it is the students who appropriate it using the appropriate equipment: video capsules and PowerPoint documents with narration, etc. We will use Zoom to answer questions and test knowledge through various activities. All this required painstaking preparation, not to mention time, quite lengthy, to tame Zoom to feel comfortable there. After all, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression on a new band! This means with a smile, of course, because in these uncertain and new times, fortunately, we can count on everyone’s kindness.

At the dawn of this new session, I finally feel well prepared. The challenges of online teaching won’t weigh as much on the joy of meeting my students, even virtually! This pandemic and the restriction that comes with it will eventually pass. The curricular content created during this troubling parenthesis will still be useful and elevate this customary classroom teaching to the level of a precious social heritage to be cherished and cherished.

See in the video

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