Educating in the Era of COVID-19: Day 1

These are strange times. As an introvert, I’m handling this whole ‘social isolation/social distancing’ mandate quite well, but I do miss the classroom and I do miss teaching my students. So, what has this first day on the online job entailed?

Well, our administration has asked that we upload content to our students on different days of the week depending on what class period we would’ve taught that class. This means only one of my five classes received content this morning. This means I’ve received a couple emails asking where the work is. In some sense, I take this as a compliment, being that it’s only 11:27 AM. They must’ve been ready to do my work!

This weekend I recorded introductory videos on YouTube that I posted in my Google Classrooms. I tried to mix a bit of an overview ‘lecture’ with instructions on how to do the online assignments. The videos were about 23-24 minutes long. I worry this is too long since YouTube reports an average watch time of about 4 minutes right now! But if I break up my videos with one being content-based overview and another being announcements, my guess is that the announcement videos will be watched and the content-based videos ignored completely (by many…though by no means all).

I’ve tried to keep my videos light. I’m not editing them or adding fancy sounds and graphics. Not sure if that’ll impact anything.

Usually, my Advisory meets on Tuesdays, so I’ve invited my advisees to an optional online advisory via Google Meet. The goal is to create some normality. Hopefully, those who join will be able to see friendly faces and realize we’re in this together.

Yesterday, I sent my advisees a Google Form asking them to answer the following questions:

  1. Are you ok/feeling healthy?
  2. Do you have a computer with Internet access?
  3. Have you heard from all of your teachers/checked onCampus (our online hub) for instructions for all of your classes?
  4. Do you feel comfortable using online technologies such as Zoom and Google Meet?

Several have responded. Most of them are doing well. Introverts like me may be fine but I worry about some of my more extroverted advisees and students. I hope they’re connecting with their friends online. I even hope that they’re connecting with people via online gaming. I just want them to be connecting with others. Strange how many of the platforms I worry distract my students from learning are now means of communication I hope they’re using!

4 Replies to “Educating in the Era of COVID-19: Day 1”

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