A Classroom without a Teacher
One of the most fascinating moments in class is when a teacher is not in attendance. During such a moment, the classroom is usually in total chaos with a mixture of activities taking place. Students start to gossip and discuss various issues, laugh, overrule books, break established rules and protocols while others are silent and keep to themselves. In essence, students find this moment to be a perfect time to enjoy their freedom and with the prime motive being that of breaking rules, share memories and have fun. After a teacher enters the classroom, a perfect silence is observed and students start to get busy. The process is repeated again once the teacher exits the classroom. With the introduction of video conferencing as a teaching tool, the situation is a bit different as students are forced to come into terms with the absence of interactive nature and personal care provided by the teacher.
Video conferencing as a teaching tool involves application of technology to transmit video and audio signals to deliver learning content to students who are in a disjointed physical location. Video conferencing is just but one of the approaches used to assist students in learning. It helps in keeping one up-to-date with technology and helps the teacher as well as the students to explore new methods of content delivery. In addition, video conferencing may accord one an opportunity to extend his/her reach by for example attracting more enrollments from rural or regional areas where it would otherwise have been impossible for students to avail themselves in a specific location physically. Moreover, video conferencing may enable a teacher to include learners from other campuses without the need of hiring an assistant instructor.
In line with the above, video conferencing or teaching is an ideal for acknowledging identified learning outcomes and provides learners with opportunities to develop their digital and communication skills. When used as a teaching tool, video conferencing differs from the traditional approach in a number of ways. The technology used, though important forms just a part of the entire learning experience. Video conferencing requires one to combine technological skills with the necessary teaching and learning skills and knowledge. As in the case of traditional approach to teaching, video conferencing calls for similar teaching skills though it does not require structured planning, the need to be slower giving instructions or the need to establish a specific etiquette. As aforementioned, a teacher using video conferencing as a teaching tool cannot gain full control of the class.
In order for video teaching to be successful, one is required to be enthusiastic and passionate about his or her students. In the same measure, one needs to consider to understand the opportunities and challenges that this teaching tool can offer. Being flexible is also important as preparation of video conferencing learning materials could be time daunting. Some of the challenges or limitations associated with video conferencing includes increased complexity in multi-site timetabling, a slow teaching pace, need for additional structures when conducting planning sessions, necessity of keeping students engaged, need for further training in relation to handling technical equipment and occasional technical hitches which may disrupt learning. The failure to have full control of the class may also create a feeling of insubordination which may reduce efficiency and effectiveness of the learning process.
A class without a teacher offer students with an ample time to exercise their freedom. While teachers are important in maintain order in the classroom, new learning/teaching techniques such as video conferencing have replaced the traditional teaching method. Through video conferencing, teachers can transmit learning content to the class without the need for physical presence. This allows teachers a chance to increase their reach and to enhance their knowledge in regard to technology.
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