With the outbreak of COVID-19, schools have been advised to switch from face-to-face classes to online teaching. So with the help of Zoom, we took our technology class online. I will admit, I was skeptical of how this would work, especially considering my group had to do a presentation. Zoom allows for video conferencing with multiple users, we had our class of 33 all online at once! Everyone who is joining the conference has the option of sharing their video and microphone feed. This is a nice feature for when you don’t necessarily want to share your video or microphone feed. Another great feature is the option of sharing your desktop screen with the video conference, which was great for presenting and showing slideshows.
I was happily impressed with how our online class went today. Everything went rather smoothly and we were able to overcome any technical challenges we ran into for our presentation. After our presentations, Rich gave us a workshop and provided us with a hands-on opportunity to learn and work with Twine. Doing this over Zoom allowed us to ask questions when they occurred while working on it. While I thought everything went well, it would be hard to neglect some of the downfalls of not having classes face-to-face. I find working from home distracting as it requires me to put everything aside and find a place where I can focus without any interruptions. This differs from in-class lectures, where I show up ready to learn and have a limited amount of distractions around me. I also believe that teaching over Zoom can have some of its challenges, as Rich mentioned it is difficult to gauge visual feedback and student interest over a screen. Finally, I believe that online lectures with Zoom miss the hands-on and collaborative aspect of learning that can occur when surrounded by peers.
All in all, I am happy to have had the chance to add Zoom and Twine software to my repertoire. It was very enjoyable being on a conference call with my cohort as it brought some familiarity to these uncertain times!