University classes online don’t seem like that much of a big deal, except… I’m learning more about my own learning style and my limitations with this digital medium.

I have two studio classes, the one that revealed my challenge was a textiles exploration studio class where we will be exploring natural dyes and fabric dying processes. There are many preparatory steps before we start this process and a moutainous amount of things that have to be done in setting up the home studio. Most of these steps would be demonstrated in class and we would be practicing them in university studio spaces with the teacher there to guide us and answer questions. The Zoom class format we are in now makes this much more asynchronous. I realize I have a limited ability to retain too many instructions at once without the opportunity to do some hands-on practicing to build my understanding. I need time to reflect.

This is also happening in my other online classes… I feel it is taking me a lot more time to retain what is being taught when I have to listen to a video and then work on the process. Say all the guy jokes you want, but I admit that in this scenario I am terrible at multitasking.

I’ll be posting as much as possible about this process and invite feedback from fellow teachers and learners in these odd times.


4 thoughts on “Back to School – New Adventures in Covid Times

  1. It is the dilemma of teaching and learning online. It is as difficult for the teacher as it is for the student. Not everything can be taught online. Textiles exploration is certainly not one of them,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. In my case, as in that of many others, learning styles become extremely important to consider.

      Embracing and implementing models such as Universal Design for Learning will be the answer. However, most educators today haven’t been taught this philosophy, especially art teachers.
      I can only speak for my training and say we are given a really good base for inclusive classrooms; building awareness based mainly on cultural sensitivity and diversity. However, how to design curricula that can reach a diverse classroom is still lacking and mostly left up to the teacher’s efforts.

      Again, only based on some art classes I’ve experienced… teachers need to be much more prepared and far more organized to teach online: whereas ideas that can be spontaneously discussed live in a studio setting where they can be practiced on the spot, just don’t fly online. Online, we watch a video, read papers, listen to the teacher, takes notes… and then go play with materials. Retention is far less, especially when a teacher is enthusiastically tossing out loads of tangential concepts and has no direct feedback from the students to indicate how the info is being received.

      Maybe I’m only complaining here. Maybe this is only my challenge. But, maybe not. Teachers need to be far more organized and succinct when teaching online. This is where they are going to have to listen before they hear and see. They will have to imagine all the reactions and plan for them.
      Until we all get better with this online classroom practice, teachers will need to slow down and spoon feed a little more.

      Ps: and I haven’t started my rant on the challenges of standardized assessment in this situation. Yikes!!!


      1. Simply put, the world was not prepared for the pandemic and the lockdown. I teach philosophy online now but it is not the same as in class. So I can only imagine what it would be like for teaching art online.


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