Once I explored Second Life in an online class as a student. Flying to exotic locations and wearing far out scifi type costumes was fun. Working as an online teacher has not been as theatrical but certainly thrilling in its own way. First, there is nothing to compare to the hysteria of emails when the main homework link goes down. To compound the problem it was not something on “our” end that we could fix although we tried mightily. Finally, it was a vendor glitch that was easily fixed. Not until the week for the assignments was done however.Bless every student that didn’t give up and got their assignment in!

I also was unexpectedly delighted to find the couple of students that sought me out in my library office, face to face or “F2F”. I felt some sort of celebrity. I guess the anonymity of the online environment produces that distance, that iconic status. I wonder if my unglamorous humanity was a letdown or a comfort. I would have dressed up if I had known I would be on display.

I have balanced my online teaching with F2F substitute teaching. Today I had 2nd graders. Oh, the joy of learning how to spell “delicious” so one can declare the pumpkin pie a proper, heavenly dessert. Reading Stuart Little aloud to a rapt group of little people was the apex of the day.

My greatest challenge in both arenas is to be clear with my information and also to keep the interest of my students. I have some ideas to explore but it will be next semester’s students that will benefit. Games for the second graders?Video for the online class?

Submitted by nancy on Sun, 10/10/2010 - 16:39