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[teacherartexchange] IDL Classes

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From: M. Austin (whest177_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Aug 23 2005 - 20:10:48 PDT


I just thought I would share how my first 3 days of teaching an IDL class
has gone. The first day I had my 21 in-building students and my 12
tv-classroom kids introduce themselves to each other and share abit about
themselves. Of course they were all camera shy, and lucky for them I froze
my camera and couldn't figure out how to move it (rule #1 - if you are going
to teach a class that requires knowledge of how a remote control works, make
hubby let you touch yours once in awhile! *L*). I went home and spent some
time reading the online manual on how the remote control works - I figured
out what I had done wrong and knew how to fix it. Yesterday I went to class
prepared to start our first project and ended up with MAJOR technology
problems . The connection kept disconnecting, my other classroom couldn't
hear me, and so we started doing some basic warm-up drawings that could be
continued throughout the class period since I couldn't rely on the
technology (rule #2 - technology will challenge you - don't let it stress
you!). This morning the IDL guru came down and worked with me to eliminate
some of the glitches. I told him my students couldn't always hear me, and he
asked me where I had my speaker located. I told him I didn't know, and
viola - out comes a speaker hidden behind the tv that I didn't know about.
Course that took care of the other class not being able to hear me! *L* SO,
today I had them write a description of their houses. I am faxing 12
descriptions that my in-class students wrote, having their 12 faxed to me,
and am having them draw the house from the description. The "couple" who
describe/draw the house the closest (determined by how quickly they are able
to recognize their house AND the "draw-er" was happy with the description
they had to go with) will win a prize - not sure yet what it will be tho.

I will say that in talking with students who have taken this type of class
before, the number one complaint has been that if they are in a receiving
school (teacher is in a different school), they feel like the "outsiders" or
the "other" class. I think that having students who felt like that would
mean that I had really short-changed my students. I would love ideas that
would create a sense of unity between my two classes (actually there are 3 -
I have one student who's school doesn't start until Thursday, and he is the
only student in that class, so I will have new challenges in making sure he
participates and is comfortable). Has anyone done anything like this?

And while I am on the topic of technology, does anyone know why, if I send a
new message to the list, my signature is read as "html", but if I reply to a
message and insert the exact same signature it is read as "plain text"?
Theoretically they are exactly the same... aren't they???

~Michal
K-12 Kansas Art Teacher
http://www.geocities.com/theartkids

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