Last week, we hosted several guests in our Whirlidub studios who interacted with our students. Our guests are carefully selected for their content knowledge and then we thoughtfully structure the interactions to take advantage of the synchronous elements of the technology.
The reason that the design of a video conference is so important is that many people, when they are in the teaching or expert role, tend to try to spew out as much information, as quickly as they can.
When this occurs, it is the person spewing information that is doing the most work.
Their brains are busy
- constructing, and
- synthesizing their knowledge.
That is fine, well, and good for them, but does not do much to engage students or challenge them to think critically or listen attentively.
Two strategies that easily engage students are
- opening focusing question
- think-pair-share before response time.
These two strategies help you to evaluate where you learners are and then to activate all brains before selecting the two or three responses to be shared whole group.
Video conferencing can be an effective technology, but you do need to be thoughtful in your delivery and design.
What are some ways that you have found to engage students or participants through distance?