Agnew School Wide Bay Campus teacher Genevieve Fitzpatrick is new to teaching via video conferencing (VC). She admits she finds it challenging, but also sees the benefits it offers for both students and teachers.
“Meeting and working with students at other campus has been rewarding,” says Genevieve. “Teaching this way encourages the ‘one school’ feeling instead of feeling like each campus is a small separate school. Learning to teach online has many professional benefits – I am gaining skills as a teacher that I would not gain in many other schools.”
VC is a relatively new style of teaching and it’s a matter of getting used to this latest approach at educating students.
“Some Students are often too shy to answer questions or ask questions over VC,” says Genevieve. “Also, checking progress of students that are not at your campus and giving immediate feedback on work is a challenge. However video conferencing is used in many organisations globally. As teachers and students, being comfortable teaching and learning using this system is advantageous.”
In 2017 all of Genevieve’s classes will be taught via VC, and although there are aspects she will get used to over time, she is optimistic about outcomes.
“I have spent many hours contemplating my current challenges,” says Genevieve. “Through recent VC training sessions I have learnt many skills and have had my eyes opened to a number of online tools (many within moodle – the current Learning Management System in Queensland) that will no doubt overcome these challenges.”
Genevieve also realises that while VC is still a teaching tool, you do need to approach it in a slightly different way than face-to-face teaching.
“[For some] it is hard to get past the idea of ‘how do I take what I currently do now and do it using VC’,” she says. “While many people will try to teach the same style of lessons that they used to, except with just a VC unit filming them, the real step forward is modifying your approach using the many online tools available to us and to bring them together with your Learning Management System.”