My mind is reeling with everything I’m learning with the technology we already have. Given that next week we’ll have a 1:1 student to device ratio, my brain better get used to all those (extra?) synapses firing. Every day my mind is filled with dozens of ideas. I wish I could stop in mid-thought to blog each day, but in addition to thinking, I’m also teaching. So, here I am finally, sitting down to blog about a few things.
My class is 100% online. Students read, write, submit writing, homework, everything online. I’ve heard many people, in and out of education, discuss the quite natural concern about leaving actual discourse, class discussion, teacher actual availability behind in such a classroom. The other day, one of my classes enlightened me on the subject when I made a goofy joke about how students could get help during class. I asked, as always, “What do you do if you need help?” The answers:
1. Email the teacher
2. Look at the class chat
3. Google the answer
4. Use the comment feature on their document to chat with me.
Yup. You see what’s missing. No one said they could actually come ask me a question. So, I made a big joke about how there was this new thing in education that I liked to call “Face time in real time.” I made a big show about how it works, how you don’t need computers or devices or screens. I showed them how to walk up to my desk, where to find my desk and how they could sit in that chair, right next to mine.
I got a lot of giggles and enthusiasm for the concept of calling talking to the teacher as “Face time in Real time.”
The giggles were elucidating. My students knew how absurd it was to even consider that approaching me was a foreign concept. They are excited to be the leaders as we roll-out lots of technology, and they love sharing ideas about how their world is changing.
They also gave me insight into how they really think and work now. Talking to me was a given, but all the new emailing and chatting were things they loved to have in the “how to get help” repertoire.
I have no end of ideas about things we can do with having the world at our fingertips, and we, my students and me, have a lot of discussion about how much more responsibility this is on them. They’re pretty proud to be considered worthy of that.
So, our new class vocabulary is “Face time in Real time,” and the students love to approach me two at a time with a request for “a split screen conference.”
A bunch of students have ideas for turning the humorous hyperbole of that into a series of commercials, perhaps reaching out to Apple.
Up next: The serendipity of losing Wifi for half the day.