Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Let's not be bashful, don't be oblique - the flesh is willing but the spirit is weak (Arab Strap)

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

I teach via zoom and have daily meetings via zoom and spend a lot of time discussing zoom calls with my colleagues. Zoom Zoom Zoom!!! This article* explains what all of that zoom activity is potentially doing to our brains.

*Spoiler alert: it's not good news, but check out the link for a fascinating reading list of how video conferencing has contributed to burnout, fatigue, fight-or-flight responses, and an odd breed of self-loathing (told you it wasn't good news), plus, how to counter the negative effects.

As for me, there are pluses and minuses. 

On the plus side - student behaviours are better on zoom - just the annoying other voices and faces of students not in my class to contend with but they can be muted. 

But on the negative side there are very little opportunities for individual student relationships, break out rooms are hideous, silences are painful, there is little chance of quiet meaningful conferencing outside of the breakout room (while the rest of the class do diddley), quiet students can (literally) hide, differentiation is tough (well, it is for me), and feedback via student body language is zero. Nuance and zoom are not friends.

I could probably go on but I'll stop there.

On balance - give me a face to face experience over a virtual one please.

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