Thursday, February 6, 2014
Private "spaces" in education
Not surprisingly, students want to feel connected to their teacher. "No significant learning can happen without a significant relationship" (James Comer) seems to ring true even in VC course delivery. However, building that relationship is tricky. It has some hurdles. Almost all the students and teachers I have interviewed have alluded to a lack of "private space" in a video-conference. In other words, teachers can't quietly come alongside a student and ask informal personal questions such as, "How was your grandfather's surgery?" for fear of broadcasting it to everyone in the conference. Equally, students are reluctant to ask questions or draw the attention of their teacher because all their peers will will hear their voice over the sound system.
Even though I taught math via VC a few years ago, I did not predict this issue. Now that the issue has been identified, we can work toward brainstorming solutions.