Theodora Papapanagiotou started a blog challenge called #firsttimeteaching. When I saw it I thought that was a great idea for a challenge. I was gonna do it. Then I realized I did not remember the first time I walked into a classroom!! Quite worrying, eh? Anyhow, I am going to move from the firsttime I taught in a classroom, to the first time I logged onto my online classroom. Yeap!! I remember that one. The first time I taught online!!
Let me start by saying that I am not the most tech savvy gal in the world, I am actually far from that. My computer skills at that point were more about how to download something, watch a YouTube video and probably blog. I did not know how to make Pdf files, how to make folders that would save Mp3 recordings etc. etc. That was too much for my pretty little brain. So, boy oh boy was I pushing the envelope (or should I say pushing the email since people don’t send letters anymore?). Teaching online was going to be a tough cookie for me… and it kinda was.
I started working for my company. I had received a lot of training and even had test lessons. Everything trainingwise had gone well. On the day of my first ‘official’ lesson, I turned on the pc, logged onto the internet, then my email, and I sent my student an email with information and links to our ‘virtual classroom’: the platform we were going to use for the lesson. I then called my learner. It was the first time I was using the phone and Adobe to have a lesson. I had never taught using a webcam before either. Both felt strange, especially since I had my webcam on, but my learner was only using a phone. That meant that I couldn’t actually see the student. I could only hear a voice. The lesson started as all lessons do. The only different thing was that I had to ask TRCs. That is what I call technology related checks like, ” Can you see me? Can you hear me? Do you see the slides” etc.
Not using paper and writing/correcting stuff was odd. I did go around that though, and when I wrote on the virtual whiteboard, I told the learner to take screen shots.
I also found myself having difficulty with turn taking, cause I did not know when the learner was going to talk. I could not see the learner! Not being face to face was actually quite stressful in the beginning.
Everything did go smoothly. I think the hardest part of the lesson was the things I had to do after the lesson!! The administrative stuff!!Downloading and uploading files/recordings. The first few online lessons took me hours to prepare and complete. Now, it is a piece of cake! I have gone a far way since my #firsttimeteaching online!
Till next time………
Nice post, Joanna! I have taught a few lessons via Skype online and I too find the turn-taking odd if the student doesn’t / can’t have his or her webcam on!
I need to graduate to a better platform with screensharing and writing software now though, I think!
You teach online too? We should exchange tips. Turn taking is quite hard for me… two years later!! I often end p talking over the learner!!! : (
Writing software??? Do elaborate pls. What’s writing software? :p
Thanks for leaving a comment Rachel
Haha sorry, not writing software – rather, screen writing software, so the kind of screen-sharing programmes like Adobe Connect where you have almost an interactive whiteboard. I know Adobe Connect is super expensive, so I’m keen to find its free alternative!
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