#28daysofwriting Week 1 of teaching online and I am beginning to believe I can do it

This is my third attempt at this post. Positing on your phone while you wait to pick up a child from soccer training is ripe for tech fail disaster.

I have finally started teaching in my virtual classroom. I posted about the roller coaster ride earlier. I have 9 students now and we are up and running.  They are all smart and funny and from all over rural and remote New South Wales. They are all experts at this online learning thing having all been part of the old Riverina and Western region’s Exsel program. I am learning a lot from them. Hopefully they will start to learn something from me.

We are timetabled together for three 80 minute blocks but not all my student can make it for the whole lesson due to timetable clashes in their home schools. I could be annoyed but I’m excited by this because I either have to repeat my lesson 3 times or bite the bullet and flip it.

On Friday we started to create a stop animation of simple harmonic motion using PowerPoint.  I recorded the instructions for my 2 Condobolin scholars who were present for the first 20 minutes but wasn’t happy with it. So I recorded the instructions for my Orange and Coonabarabran scholars who turned up for the last 20 minutes. Then I sent the link to everyone. This is particularly important for my Dubbo and Lithgow scholars who could not turn up at all.

I see this as my learning phase. This transition to flipping is building my confidence, I am feeling more and more competent and my skills around what to do and what not to do are growing. I am beginning to really believe that I can do this.

Initially I will just use my Adobe Connect room with no one present. I plan to record the synopsis here and then send the link to my students. Most of them have dual screens so they can watch the synopsis in class while I am available to answer questions. They can all work independently and at their own pace. Once I’ve master this, I will look further afield for better ways to record and share.

I plan to only give them a week of recordings at a time. Three 15 to 20 minutes recordings. Primarily, to give me time to create the recordings but also so they don’t get too far ahead. I also want the to work collaboratively on activities using google apps or office 365 or One Note – this idea is still in a state of flux. When they have finished they get to do a Genius Hour project to be presented to the group at the end of each topic. It has to be about the topic but can explore any aspect that has drawn their attention.

I am still too self conscious to show my first recordings to a wider audience than my class. Maybe when I have begun to master the process I will share a before and after recording. Then again some shoulder to shoulder advice wouldn’t go astray.

I’ll think about it. Either way, I am excited about the possibilities.


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