Education Innovator - Instructional Designer
I am an educator and instructional designer who specializes in practical professional development strategies for face-to-face to online live transitions.
Thoughts about the Void
I plan for interactive sessions with my adult learners. I use a study guide, slides, breakout rooms, chatting, etc. I spend time doing my hair and choosing an outfit. I look for the magic. But when we say goodbye, I wave - all the students wave - and it is over. I sit silently in my cluttered office in the void feeling like the train pulled out of the station. There are no waves from students in the parking lot. No one-off comments. I am alone with my thoughts.
From now on, I'll take note of all the comments in chat. Record the times we interacted. Revamp my exit ticket with, "If you ran in to me afterwards, what would you say?" Yes, I’ll try this. <Sigh> How bout you?
The Talking Stick
This Native Canadian talking stick was given to me by a an amazing fellow teacher. I used it with my students in a circle of trust. Passing the stick made us pay attention. It required respect and a certain eloquence. It trained my students to actively listen and ask questions. It built a community. Students came to class on time so not to miss out on the talking stick. It was magical.
Have you considered using a talking stick in an online environment? Set up a synchronous session. Post my talking stick photo and imagine the circle. Set some rules as a group.
I know it will make a difference. Let me know how it goes.
Can you name these iconic movie teachers? Each one taught in their own way. Each one went against the system. Each one was successful. AND each one burned out because they fought the fight alone!
Think about how amazing this team would have been if they had known each other. All of them imagining a new system together through creativity, ingenuity, knowledge, and determination.
Remember that technology connects us! Find the others who believe in change and connect with them! Reach out and they will reach back. We are starving for each other's strengths and fortitude. Harness the power of technology to make connections and change!!
Here's me reaching out to you!! Reach back!
Leave a Legacy of Caring
Connecting in a face to face classroom was easy. You looked students in the eye, planned thought provoking lessons, and communicated easily as the expert. The transition to unfamiliar technology and online learning might make you feel panicked and out of control.
Take heart...online, you can still...
Be available for face to face conversations. Just switch on your camera and actively listen. Respond to email messages and comments in a timely manner. If technology is scary to you right now, lean on questioning. Ask, does this work for you? What questions do you have? Make your course better based on student responses.
Being present can be difficult right now. EVERY ONE is stressed. So, be careful when responding to your students. Add a line of encouragement. Let them know you are human and want to support their goals. It’s ok to say, “I’m cheering you on!” It’s ok to add a smiling emoji.