Is it worth going live with your students? The short answer is yes. Whether you use Google Hangouts, Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate, or a different video communication tool it doesn’t really matter. Going live is an extremely powerful way to communicate with students.
I used Blackboard Collaborate with my students because my university uses Blackboard for our LMS platform. The other reason was that it was very easy to use Blackboard Collaborate since I did not have to do anything but let them know that we were going to meet online. The energy that came through the screen was incredible. The students were happy to see me and were asking all sorts of questions. They felt connected and happy to chat and listen to me talk about their upcoming homework.
I noticed the same thing when my son was on google hangouts with his homeroom teacher and his classmates. On the first day they met, the children were so excited that they were all speaking simultaneously. Five days later they have all become well-mannered and waited their turn while their teacher was online with them. But because they miss each other they login about 10 minutes before their morning meeting begins just to chat and be with each other. These kids are learning a different way to interact with each other.
It is interesting to watch this going on because I don’t think they are realizing that the way they learn is changing. It is incredible to see how quickly humans are adapting to this new reality. From the perspective of an educator that enjoys teaching online, I am really curious to see how online education is going to evolve and develop in the future.
So even if you feel overwhelmed try it with your students and you will be amazed at the results a half an hour will have on you and your students.
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