Progress reports go out to students today at my little school, so I thought it would be a good time to provide an update of my own now that we’re nearly a month into the school year. I posted about teaching in The Age of The Virus after the first day and the first week, and now I have a much better perspective on how the year is unfolding.
As a refresher, my school is doing mostly face-to-face instruction, but with some students doing distance learning. Students have the option to go to distance learning pretty much at will (for example, I had one student who stayed home today with a cold, but who tuned into my music appreciation course), and can return to school at any time. Students engaged in distance learning are required to attend during the scheduled class period.
The caveat to that general rule pertains to international students. We have a number of students overseas who, because of new restrictions due to The Virus, are stuck in their home countries. Many of those students’ classes are late at night, or even in the very early morning, after accounting for the time difference. It’s a long way from South Carolina to Vietnam.
What that means is that we have to teach our regular classes; livestream them; and record those livestreams, making the recordings available after the class. It sounds easy enough—so long as everything works perfectly.
That’s turning out to be the fly in the pancake batter. As one of our dedicated science teachers said—the lady who troubleshoots our woeful technological glitches—“I can livestream, or I can record. The trouble is trying to do both.” Amen to that.