Squall Season - shall we meet virtually?

Open waters in Georgian Bay plus winds from the Northwest equals squalls around Georgian College. We might have to move our regular Friday morning (9 to noon) session with our new full-time faculty to the virtual world.

I've been prepping to facilitate our Friday morning session through Zoom tomorrow. This will be the largest group I've facilitated in Zoom. Now, thankfully, my colleague, Amy, led them through a Contingency Planning session last Friday and they did it in Zoom. So they will have experienced Zoom with a large group.

That was planned in advance - we wanted them to experience what it would be like to have to run a class virtually in case there is bad weather (or other things that would prevent a class from meeting in their normal setting). And now, that eventuality is here. Tomorrow is not a drill - it's the real thing.

I needed to rethink some of the activities that I would normally run in a face-to-face setting. Thankfully, the topic and most of the activites translates easily to a virtual setting. Oh ya, the topic is Digital Tools for Teaching and Learning.

So, here are some details:

  1. I will use Zoom to bring us together
  2. Other tools I will use are
    • Powerpoint
    • PollEverywhere
    • iPad
    • Quizlet
  3. Here's a tentative agenda
    • Community Building activity (I'll test their knowledge of Internet History. In pairs (in Zoom breakout rooms) they will try to guess when a "tech" was launched into the world. But before that they will put themselves into a timeline - we'll use a Zoom whiteboard for this. On this timeline, they will put a "stamp" signifying when they started post-secondary. Then we'll put their guesses to the above question (e.g. when was Google launched))
    • Next, I'll show the results of PollEverywhere poll they answered in preparation for the session. A word cloud was created for their answers to "What technologies do you use to prepare/organize, create resources for, teach lessons in, and assess students in your classes?"
    • Then, I'll use another feature of PollEverywhere to solicit questions they have about ed tech they would like answered today. Then they will upvote/downvote the questions. We will discuss the top five questions and I will try to provide answers to the others over the coming week. The top five questions will give me direction for the rest of the session.
    • There are some tech I do want to demonstrate to the group (besides PollEverywhere): Unsplash, Typorama, The Noun Project, Screencast-o-matic, and Quizlet
    • There are others that I will mention, but won't have time to demonstrate (Flipgrid, etc).
    • Then we'll spend some time with the Teaching HOW2s

What I learned tonight while experimenting

  • The whiteboard feature of Zoom will be a nice digital way of doing what I would normally do in a face-to-face setting (it will literally be the same except that they won't be going to the blackboard and physically putting post-it notes on the timeline)
  • I can share my iPad/iPhone screen to Zoom via AirPlay - that's pretty cool
  • Since I haven't posted here in a long, long time, this is the first time I'm using Grav's pages editor - it's quite nice (better than doing Markdown in a text editor - although that was fun as well)

(Photo by Todd Diemer on Unsplash)

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