Teaching Online

Over a week ago, my class did a “show and tell” project through Elluminate.   The night that I was initially scheduled to share with my class, I had some serious technical difficulties, which nearly resulted in a laptop being thrown out of a window.  You can read more about that frustration here.

The next night I was able to squeeze into the schedule and present.  The best way to describe my experience? Weird.  I just watched the recording of my presentation.  Weirder.  If you wanted to watch the recording of my presentation and the others who presented that evening, you can view it here.  If you’re also interested in the other presentations, you can find them here.

Because of my technical difficulties the previous night, I did not spend much time preparing for my presentation.  I was stressing out that I wouldn’t be able to present.  Preparing my slides took longer than I expected. I made some phone calls to find out some stats and talk to my mom about a few of the things I discussed.  I also used OpenOffice Impress (instead of Powerpoint) for the first time, so I had to spend some time getting used to the set up and how to do certain things.  I also found myself taking a long time to find images for my slides on Flickr. I guess I am just a perfectionist when it comes to that.  Overall, I was pleased with how my slides looked.  You can see them below (the last two slides lost some of their formatting when I uploaded them to SlideShare).

I found it really weird talking into my computer trying to share my presentation.  There was no way to even tell if anyone was paying attention.   Besides a few comments in the chat box, I would have never even known for sure if anyone was actually listening, especially since the Canada hockey game had just started when I began presenting. In an attempt to engage my classmates, I asked if anyone could guess my “miracle technology” and used a YouTube video. I like to think that those helped keep my audience interested.

Then there was the chat box.  I found myself waiting and expecting things to pop up in there at times, and at other points I found it interrupted me and distracted me from what I was trying to say.  The chat is something I would definitely need to get used to and hopefully I could manage and handle it better with experience.

Next time, I would try to prepare myself better.  Seeing Dean handle this method of teaching effortlessly over the past semester and a half threw me off.  He made it look easy, when in fact, it is far from it.  It is completely different than teaching face-to-face, something I’m not very good at yet anyways.  It is really difficult to understand if you`re audience is absorbing what you`re saying or if it`s flying high over their heads.   But when I think more about that, that is largely how I felt when I started teaching in a classroom.  Maybe this will get better with time and experience.  I hope so, since I see this online learning as a great way to share ideas and learn!

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