We are being driven crazy with “Zoom-related” teaching.
Amidst these hectic Coronavirus Times, much of what I hear is “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom..” There must be a bee around somewhere.
I have in mind Junior High School and High School teachers here. While using “Zoom” and “Zoom-like” Virtual Classrooms is OK, I have got the feeling that Zoom activities to teach are overly used these days. Live Meetings via a Virtual Classroom can be a complement to more effective distance teaching and learning at school (in Corinavirus times and beyond), which can be done with a good Learning Management System: Moodle, of course.
Since I am Moodle-addicted, I have stuck to Moodle (and yes, using Big Blue Button and Zoom, and Whatsaap, too) ever since we had to move to Digital Education full-time. I have also kept trying to help colleagues in Israel use Moodle.
Moodle and Digital Tools have helped me try to get my teenage pupils to keep learning. It’s a tough job, mind you. Think of any reasons that can distract teenagers from studying only online. Have you thought of two? Well, they have been distracted by more than three… at the same time. Besides, not everyone has a computer or Tablet, so they use their smartphones. And yet, there has been teaching and learning done using Moodle, Virtual Classrooms, Whatsaap, and more.
This link to a video can give you a glimpse of some of the things that I have been doing with Moodle, and how I have turned to my pupils after we had had a BBB or Zoom meeting. This one is directed at 10th-grade pupils (15 – 16 years old) who have not done work connected to “The Future of Hi-Tech can be Female” ( part of a list of activities I shared on ElearningWorld on a previous post). I try to encourage active learning.
You see, I follow that rule when I want to say something online to my pupils: I tell them what I will tell them, I tell them, and then I tell them what I just told them. I do so in different formats: writing, video, voice messages, etc. This is a link to another video, that is to say, to another example. I hope to get pupils to collaborate more, too. You may ask: “Do all the teens listen and act accordingly?” Well, no… Not yet, I mean.
But then, when it comes to teenage pupils, connecting and encouraging are always needed to get them going. For example, I recently got a message from a pupil who had promised more than once that he would submit a task. Right away, via Whatsaap, I sent him a link to this cheering crowd video, telling him that the cheers were for him and that people had just left lockdown to cheer him, so he should not disappoint them.
As for my colleagues, on the one hand, I have tried to highlight the added value of using Moodle with pupils. On the other hand, I have tried to explain that teachers should check by themselves whether the use of Moodle caters to their needs, and ignore voices that are aimed at scaring them away from Moodle.
Well, now that I write these lines, I believe that what I have been doing reflects what has been published on recent ElearningWorld Posts:
1. It is important to have a Moodle site: “…many organisations are starting to ask themselves questions such as “Why didn’t we have e-learning provision in place?” and “What could we do right now to support training and development remotely?“) (See Your new Moodle site in 7 days by ElearningWorld Admin)
2. Teachers are cooperating a lot (See Generosity is spreading by John Allan.).
3. Teachers should be “Promoting more active participation in an online environment” (See Passive vs. Active Learning – Getting your digital learners moving, interactive and involved by Catherine Duncan)
Sharing on teachers’ Facebook groups, collaborating on Whatsaap groups that focus on using Moodle for teachers, and the like, I have tried to lend a hand to many teachers at the same time and to learn much from colleagues, too. There is no “How to use Moodle Workshop” for teachers available from The Ministry of Education now, so I have also let teachers know of Learn Moodle courses.
The Israel School System is public (It is a state-system, as opposed to privately owned). Schools either get Moodle from the Ministry of Education or from companies that work with the Ministry, as does the school where I teach. I am familiar with two Moodle Platforms in use at most schools that have access to the platform. That is the reason I created Digital Books to help teachers learn some Moodle Basics.
- Moodle Mashov for Home and Blended Learning is aimed at teachers from schools that work with Mashov, an organization that provides Moodle and other services to schools.
- Moodle for Home Learning and for Blended Learning is aimed at teachers from schools that request free Moodle Platforms from The Israel Ministry of Education.
- There is a third Digital Book in Hebrew, too.
To be sure, when it concerns my work as a teacher, I can’t say that I have been bored during these Coronavirus Times. Keep well and healthy!