Reflections on my absence – Sept 2013

Jokingly, the idea of taking “a day off work” is a lovely thing to do.

I am at my 10th day off work with a collapsed disc in my lower spine causing disabling pain when not lying down flat on my back.
Sorry to generate such a grim scene – Ouch… INDEED.

Anyho, my intention here is not to dive into the depth of my medical issues, rather to comment on a few things… here goes:

not being able to get up to go to school
I have been pleasantly rewarded as my unexpected period of absence has reinforced how much I enjoy the work I do. My daily routines of spending time alongside openness, creativity, willingness, collaboration, empathy, effort, care and respect are truly splendid and life enriching.
At times I have toured through all four campuses photographing and videoing environments in each. Every time I have done this, I am amazed at how much energy is gifted towards where we work.
Not sure really what to say, except thanks and I sincerely look forward to getting back to work.

Remote  instruction
I currently teach a small Grade 7 & 8 ICT elective, Tech 3D. We explore the design, creation and manipulation of three dimensional environments using Sketch Up & Adobe Photoshop.
My current extended absence has meant my classes suffer. It is very unreasonable to expect a substitute teacher to be able to deal with the control options of three dimensional lighting effects within Adobe Photoshop.
I am OK, I just can’t stand up (at the moment)
That means I can run the class through technology. We have so many communication tools available to us, I thought I’d use them and continue to interact with the class.
A students laptop was connected to the classroom’s presentational systems at the start of class. They would connect to me via Skype. As the class was quite small, it was easy to set things up so that I could see all of the students. I would screen share my screen and then run them through items as required. Once instruction had ben given, and it was time for the students to work.
We disconnected the Skype and I connected to each students through Gchat to continue conversations as required. This worked well.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 3.12.12 PM

Google Doc’s were also used as the required task required some brainstorming. See the students project ideas develop as they pasted images, listed concepts and asked questions. The interaction, commenting and suggesting as required was OK, yet interesting to note that seemingly more comfortable with some than with others.

Overall, this communication process worked and was better than not being able to be part of the class at all. As expected, remote connection does not really compare to being physically present with the students.
I am glad I’m fixed and look forward to returning to class after the October break.

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1 Response to Reflections on my absence – Sept 2013

  1. Pingback: October, 2013 Reflection | Mr Lea's Tech Blog

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