A virtual classroom for tweenagers

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Charles demonstrates the didigeridoo
Charles demonstrates the didigeridoo

I see…..

I hear…..

  • many  calls for help….. technical problems/misunderstandings in software use.
  • my frantic voice trying to keep control of the class, maintain online status and a semblance of SANITY!

I feel….

  • frustrated, anxious, helpless dealing with all the technical issues.  Read more.

…..Backtrack to 6 months ago, where I trialled various forms of online classroom software,enabling students to

Virtual classroom software types used: elluminate and discoverE

Fastforward to our third  elluminate class for PingThe elluminate window

I see….. 

  •  students all logged on within 5 mins, quietly glued to their screens.
  • questions for help now coming through the chat window

I hear….. silence….

  • except for the click/clack of keys as students happily chat asking questions, answering questions, make requests giving feedback
  • the occasional laugh as Rohan talks about his instrument in an entertaining way.
  • humming from one girl

I feel…..

  • relaxed, confident, excited, satisfied

Requirements for using a virtual classroom:-

  • headsets , single webcam (optional)
  • individual computer access
  • patience/risk taking ability

Tips for success

  • set up a code of conduct early on
  • pre-test the equipment
  • practise to gain confidence
  • individual student desktop access – (personal  ownership)
  • work the chat laboriously –  interaction, feedback, motivation, concentration etc
  • moderate the student permissions  -remove private messaging,  access to whiteboard tools unless required and chat for those who spam, bully etc.
  • provide lots of multimedia eg screen dumps, video, polling, use of emoticons
  • send to timeout (breakout room), if bad behaviour continues

See my class at work, during session 4

Read the feedback given after session 5

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