COVID-19 Teaching Diary Day 3: Google Classroom Class Clowns

Today brought some progress, and with it some challenges. I had twice as many kids on both my video calls, bringing my total to 12. As we begin to overcome the hurdle of connecting kids to Google classroom, the challenge of actually teaching emerges. Today, the aforementioned rascal joined my math video call. I was happy to have him on the call, because he's got a sharp mathematical mind. But, it does seem like a class clown is still going to be a class clown, regardless of whether the classroom is physical or digital.
Image result for "class clown"
I'm still just beginning to learn how to mediate conversations on Google hangouts. Not being physically in the same space definitely presents a challenge. Another challenge is that I'm mainly teaching by presenting my screen. This means I can't check on the engagement of my students.

There was a lot of "cross talk" and definitely some conversations that weren't mathematical at all. The "solution" I found for today was to ask scholars to mute their calls, and to use the chat function to share ideas. As an educator who aspires to democratize my teaching, literally silencing my students didn't feel good.

I know that the off-topic conversation is a function of an unfamiliar teaching and learning platform. I know also it's a symptom of boredom (and also a normal feature of being a child/human). I will work to be patient with myself and my students as we work this out.


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