With my adventure in online learning, I continue to try new things. I produced video recordings of essay commentary in addition to written feedback (just for fun). I also tried things I might do in a residential classroom like and in-class writing on Zoom. We all wrote for five minutes and shared our work if we wanted to. I also continue to try new things in breakout rooms like making students accomplish professional tasks together. For example, they’ll have to discover their best format for online collaboration for peer writing workshops–and then justify their choice to me. Is a google doc best? Is Zoom always best? What about emailing drafts back and forth with tracked comments?
There’s a way I can attach what’s happening to professional outcomes. We are learning how to present ourselves online, with appropriate discussions, in good lighting and in a good setting. We are learning to manage with unstable internet or broken microphones. Learning to adapt and do these skills positions students well for what’s next. It’s not a waste or second-best when there’s a learning outcome involved in using Zoom or online discussion (which we are all terrible at).
Meanwhile, I keep trying. I keep learning. Perhaps the breakthrough has come that it’s always about what we’re learning.