Q: How do you look at teaching art virtually/online in the past?
A: In the past I always viewed digital teaching as a cop-out. I figured that teaching a course physically was much more difficult + required greater effort. I never opted to take online courses--and if that was the only availability I heavily avoided it. There was an occasion where I had no other option than to take one of my high school graduation requirements online--and it was incredibly stressful. Learning online can feel very chaotic, especially if there is no video instruction involved. The course I took was module based and to be completed by our own scheduling + preparation (which at that age is a LOT of responsibility on your plate, especially when you are used to the rhythm of physical instruction). I think finding a happy medium where physical + digital learning are integrated together is key--and if physical presence is not possible there are many extra tasks you have to consider as an educator.
Q: Is there any current learning experience or event that has changed how you look at teaching virtually now?
A: As I have experienced the effects of quarantine on students + educators alike, I have learned a great deal about how students learn in a digital format + how I set up my content for my students' best access. For my education coursework, I have had to transfer all of my lesson planning and delivery into an online format. Although this was frightening and stressful at first, I am very grateful to be learning these skills + tactics. Teaching remotely or online is something I had never imagined having to do, but is now something I view as an integral part of a successful education.
Q:How will I apply my current understanding/learning to my future teaching?
A:Based on my experience in quarantine, due to the rapid spread and danger of COVID-19, I've learned how to translate my materials into a digital format to deliver my practicum lessons online. I have also learned the other side of online education--putting myself in both the shoes of the educator + the student. Online learning is very stressful especially in a time of crisis, so I believe first + foremost being understanding, flexible, and empathetic is extremely important. Not only do kids have varying situations based on their history + home life, but now are experiencing the stress of uncertainty + transition to online learning. This stress translates to everyone across the board, whether you are in second grade or the position of the educator. It is stressful, scary, confusing, and above all NEW.
I have found many tools, programs, and tactics to translate lessons to an online format and would love to share them with you. Through this experience the greatest thing I have learned is that we work best when we have access to a support system + team. My colleagues have greatly influenced my transition to online as we all work through this maze together. Together we have built resources, classrooms, and content that I am incredibly proud of. The skills + resources listed are long-lasting tactics that can be used for online learning, but also in a physical classroom as we find harmony between technological learning + traditional learning methods.
For my art piece this week, I continued my exploration of weaving. This has become influential in my journaling process as I find new ways to document my exploration of teaching, learning, + artistic practices. My weaving this week is a nod to my experience in quarantine + how isolation has affected me personally. Based on my blog this week, I have reflected on the use of personal journaling (however that may look) in terms of remote learning. Finding the crossroad between technological learning + physical learning is very important. Staying in tune with both makes the transition to, or integration of, technology more useful + purposeful. Not all learning can be digital, and not all learning can be physical practice/learning. I believe in the time we are in quarantine, we can practice being inventive + resourceful. This is a skill that translates to any content area and many obstacles we face in the real world. Teaching digitally has only made me more inventive, creative, and resourceful in finding options for any type of learning situation or context!
My weaving specifically reflects on using resources available to me, finding comfort in color pallets and textures, and the humorous trends spreading on social media surrounding the 'quarantine craze'.
For more details + documentation of my artworks created to accompany these blog posts, visit my instagram!