Posts Tagged ‘hybrid learning’

Learning in a Pandemic Year

February 2, 2021

For my faithful blog readers I apologize for my absence.  As you can imagine I was called to serve Denver Public Schools (DPS) for long days weeks and months supporting online learning.  Now that I have a moment to catch my breath (not that it’s over) I thought it would be helpful to share things I’ve learned over the past year.

1.  Google Meet Enterprise is just as good as Zoom for meetings and learning.  With the enhancements Google added to its Enterprise version the playing field has been leveled.  Take a look at this chart I created for the side by side comparison. 

2.  Just because you know how to use an online tool, doesn’t mean the learning will be effective.  We are still in need (if not more so) of training/development for facilitators of synchronous and asynchronous courses.  I’ve been active at DPS creating support materials, models, and starting two communities of practice that meet monthly.  One  is focusing on our LMS-Schoology-and the other group concentrates on synchronous delivery in Zoom or Google Meets.

3.  Non-verbal cues become very important in managing meetings online.  Especially in larger meetings protocols using hand gestures make online meetings run more smoothly and quickly.

4.  Two monitors are better than one, for catching non-verbal cues but also managing a presentation and meeting tools at the same time.

5.  Blended/hybrid professional learning will return.  I predict that after we emerge from COVID restrictions the value and efficiency of blended/hybrid learning will remain a viable delivery system.

6.  Video and audio production skills come in handy and still sound. Top five pieces of advice I give out are:

a. Use landscape format on your phone

b. Record in a quiet room/space

c. Get close to the camera

d. Avoid bright backlight (e.g. windows)

e. Add light to your face if needed (with lamps)

7.  The time for short and engaging webinars has arrived (thankfully).  For years I preached the benefits of shorter webinars and the importance of engaging the attendees throughout the session.  I believe the benefits of these practices have been made evident.

8.  We need breaks from technology too!  Spending all day at our computers in online sessions can be draining on our bodies and minds.  Don’t forget to take a break!  Now that you’ve finished reading this blog post, it’s your turn!