Teaching via Skype: WUDC Basics

Here it is. I probably shouldn't post it, because I make a lot of mistakes, but I was distracted pretty heavily by the technology I was using. Not the best idea to use some new tech when you are trying to teach, but I wanted to give it a try. Also, I had the audience a bit wrong, so I had to adapt on the fly to address the things I thought they might like to know about. In the future I think that the comparisons to policy debate's attempt to "mind the gap" might be something best left for the end. Or a paper. Yea, probably a paper (this is indeed how my inventional process works - talk about something, become unsatisfied, write down a lot of stuff about it, make it into an essay).

I used a small mixer and a professional microphone to record this on my end, on the other end I am not sure what they had but it looks like it was just a very nice Mac microphone built into the laptop. The sound quality is quite good and it makes me excited to try making some short podcasts about debate!

Things to consider:

1. Delay in reaction - there's a bit of a delay from the crowd reaction to what I'm saying and it's hard to attend to it.

2. Moving around things on the computer screen is distracting to my narrative flow - it's pretty obvious - but I think that will work itself out over time and with some familiarity. More tests are needed.

3. Interactivity. So many simple-minded folks critique this sort of teaching by saying it's not face to face so you lose something. What is lost? I think the Q&A is possibly the best part. I think unfamiliarity and a lack of experience with the technology is what prompts this criticism.

I fully expect that most Universities will demand 10% of their courses University wide be taught exclusively online over the next 5 years. I hope to get a bit more practice in before this happens.

Last week I shot some asynchronous teaching videos for our University's "Storm Talk" series - which is where they ask professors to talk about things that interest them for a few minutes here and there and post them to social media sites for student reaction. This might have a bit better application for pedagogy than the "live lecture" - Lecturing might return to its popularly considered form of being ineffective, but this form might be super-effective online, where students can treat the lecture like a "text" - flipping back and forth through it to concentrate on the parts that they consider most difficult or most valuable.