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Re: [teacherartexchange] Distance Learning


From: M.Austin (whest177_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 16 2005 - 12:00:04 PDT

I have received way too many private responses to keep up with each one, so I'm bringing this conversation to the list. A ton of thanks to everyone who contacted me! It seems that this type of class is going to become the norm rather quickly. I'm not sure if my set-up is typical or not, since I've never dealt with this before. It is not an on-line class, although I'm thinking of possibly setting up a website specifically for this class (or have it branch off my own school's website since I teach that class too!)

I have taught for 11 years, so I'm comfortable with my classroom set-up, but I have never had to co-teach, or work with another art teacher. I have always had to venture down my own path, with no guidance other than online and yearly conferences. My current HS classes consist of 9-12 grades, and students may take art all 4 years, so I have mixed levels and abilities within the classroom.

My set-up is a video camera will be facing me, so the students at the other school will be able to view me and my classroom live. My tv will be showing the other class live at the same time. I will be getting an Elmo, which, when in use, projects on both my tv and the other classroom. The other class also has an Elmo. This is where my first question lies - and maybe I'm jumping the gun cause I've never used an Elmo before. I currently use tracing paper to show my students how their drawing should look. How will I do this with the other class?

There is another teacher who has been teaching this school in this fashion for about 8 years now (I haven't been able to get ahold of him yet), so I may have students of different levels in the same class (same as I currently do). However, they don't have art in the middle or elementary levels, so I'm assuming their freshmen will be behind my own freshmen. I plan on beginning my year with still-life drawings, but am open to suggestions and ideas as I learn this new way to teach.

Do classes like this require more lecture? I don't lecture normally (actually, I don't spend much time talking at all, except on rare occasions where it is really necessary). I really want to do hands-on, but the simple logistics of managing supplies long distance are concerning me. The other school is appx. 1 1/2 hours away, so it is a doable trip, but I really want all my ducks in a row the first day - at least enough to survive the first couple of weeks!

As I think about what questions I have I keep coming back to - I don't know what questions to ask because I'm not sure what I'm coming up against. My principal got called to active duty before everything was set up for me, so I'm kind of floundering here. What suggestions, tips, or ideas would you offer someone teaching a distance learning class? Would a website be beneficial in my situation? How can I create a sense of community between the two classes? AAAGGGHHH! I have so many questions, yet I don't have any!!! Does that make ANY sense??? *L* I will be happy to document this all on my website. :-)

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