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Discussion Question Three: Vent

 
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Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Darren Sudlow - Thursday, 3 May 2012, 7:52 PM
 

What have you found to be the most frustrating thing to deal with this year? This can come from an eTeacher or eDean perspective.  Go on have a real vent.  You know you want towink.

Maybe we can even share solutions...

Picture of Jane Donald
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Jane Donald - Friday, 4 May 2012, 3:35 PM
 

This year I did not simply list the textbook requirements on the vln site, but outlined them in a specific letter to e-deans.  I included ISBN number and full details, including where to buy.  Unfortunately some of the e-deans did not do anything with this info so -  especially given that there is time lag in obtaining the text - it has been really mucky for everybody.  I assumed for too long that the kids did not have the text because it hadn't arrived when it hadn't even been ordered!  

The e-deans concerned were very apologetic and acted very promptly when I followed it up.  Next year I will email the students as well, and ask them to ask their e-deans about it.  Hopefully I will have many of the same schools again so that the text will already be there! [You may think that ideally in an online course there is no need for a text, but in my subject anyway this one is an invaluable resource for the students].

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Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Darren Sudlow - Monday, 7 May 2012, 12:00 PM
 

Good idea on emailing the students Jane.  I am having a particularly bad year with textbooks even though I have emailed eDeans over and over abut it.  I might look to get parents in the loop early next year.

Picture of Paul Threadgill
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Paul Threadgill - Tuesday, 8 May 2012, 10:40 AM
 

With textbooks. I outlined to eDeans what I wanted to use and asked them if it was ok for me to order them and get the supplier to bill the school. Emails came back affirmative reasonably quickly and I used these emaols as proof that schools would pay. The book supplier wanted to be confident that there was an obligation to pay. I placed the order and within 3 days all my students had access to text books. I have used other resource to augment what the textbook was lacking. This I have scanned and emailed or scanned and posted if file too big to email. I have suggested cheap resource from Warehouse but have not made this compulsory. Some have taken this up - where more than 1 student in a school it has worked very effectively.

Picture of Michele O'Carroll
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Michele O'Carroll - Monday, 14 May 2012, 8:13 PM
 

Textbooks!!!!  The thorn in any E-Deans side!

This year I ordered some books and waited and waited. The organisation I ordered them through said they were coming from Australia so I waited still. Then when I emailed to say hey Aussie is not that far away... found out that they were never ordered by the supplier!!! My poor students didn't get them finally until about May.

It's not always the E-Deans fault smile. Also, remember, that most E-Deans are also fulltime teachers and take the role on with little or no time given to them.

Anne
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by anne williams - Thursday, 10 May 2012, 10:46 AM
 

My biggest frustration this year has been with a teacher who wouldn't answer my emails. She would email the student eventually. This problem has been solved now- I hope-  it wasn't a CantaNet teacher. Thanks to Darren for helping out with this one!

Picture of Deborah Caswell
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Deborah Caswell - Thursday, 10 May 2012, 1:32 PM
 

As a new teacher to CantaNet, I am not particularly enjoying teaching via the VC. I feel I was naive to think that all students wanted to be in the class and that they would do their work. However, I was proven wrong very quickly. I am also surprised that how few students can create a negative environment. sad

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Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Darren Sudlow - Tuesday, 15 May 2012, 9:49 AM
 

Sometimes you get lucky with a group, but as you will find in any class there are students who will have to be chased up...some more than others.  We look at withdrawal when it goes on for an extended period.  I can think of two students I had last year who did very little for practically the whole year.  I recommended withdrawal when one went for weeks without anything, but the school wanted to keep working with him so I kept him in.  Withdrawal needs to be a joint process and the school need to agree that it is in the best interests of the student.

What solutions are there to the issue of disengaged students?  I think it is a discussion thread we can develop for next week.

The issue has been raised by a few teachers this year so I

Picture of Kimi Clarkson
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Kimi Clarkson - Thursday, 10 May 2012, 3:11 PM
 

Kia ora

Is it common practice for the subject teachers of other schools to sit in the VC classes?  I personally find it a little uncomfortable,(as Im new to teaching at this level) and it knocks my confidence a bit, especially if the teacher is more experienced than me.

I just think that if the school is willing to pay a teacher to sit in with the students,  then why dont they just teach the students themseves and allow other people to be enrolled that don't have a teacher in front of them? 

This happened to me last year and this year as well. 

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Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Darren Sudlow - Tuesday, 15 May 2012, 9:25 AM
 

They can sit in Kimi, but they must clear it with you first.  Did they do that?  Flick me an email, because I'm curious about who it is.

Picture of Conrad O'Connor
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Conrad O'Connor - Monday, 14 May 2012, 9:23 AM
 

I am yet (in 2 years) to have a solo student from out of cluster who has done well in my vc course. They have all proven to be wasters. On the other hand I have 3 students at Otaki this year and they are doing much better as a group. They appear to be providing each other with support and forcing the other 2 to keep up.

Solution?

I think we are doing everything we can now, if they aren't doing the work provide help and if they don't improve axe them! If only we could do that in our normal classes. "You are the weakest link... Goodbye!"

Picture of Daryl Harris
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Daryl Harris - Monday, 14 May 2012, 2:22 PM
 

I have found students who have Gateway and similar commitments frustrating. One student, in particular, this year has not been good at managing absences from VC sessions. Not a great self-manager. However, this term there has been an improvement, after much cajoling.  Similarly, students who have slow dial-up at home find it difficult to do homework using Google-docs, etc.

 

Daryl (E-Dean)

Mr T
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Justin Thompson - Monday, 14 May 2012, 6:05 PM
 

This year has been excitting and fun but one major frustration is one E Dean from the North Island I am dealing with that has not acted on emails sent for a very long time, and only now is a student able to access the websites. She/He unsure there has also only now told me she has withdrawn a student from my course mid Term ! after me sending repeated emails to them.

Also one issue is that why dont VC students realise that an important part of VC would be access to the internet to do work during the week and some of that would need to be at home! Very annoying!

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Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Darren Sudlow - Tuesday, 15 May 2012, 9:28 AM
 

One thing to remember is not all students will have access to internet, let alone quality internet.

Picture of Michelle Heald
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Michelle Heald - Wednesday, 16 May 2012, 11:07 AM
 

One of the biggest frustrations I have experienced is that some (definitely not all) of my students are just lazy. I would have thought they would be really into the technology side of things, but a few of them are just not spending the time on the computer and therefore they are not getting the work done. One of the things I have consistently been using this year is the "checklists" so I outline with each week the work the students need to complete - either activities or readings from their book, or completing work on bestchoice. T hen the students tick off each task.

I have one or two students who are just not going on the educo website to check what they are meant to be doing, the trouble is they don't check their emails regularly either, or they registered an email address that they don't check, so its next to impossible to communicate with them. I know that the few students I am referring to here are probably not suitable for the E-learning course and should probably be withdrawn, but I needed to vent!

Picture of Garry Brittenden
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Garry Brittenden - Wednesday, 16 May 2012, 2:05 PM
 

Getting students to engage in their learning is a challenge for all teachers, especially so with VC classes. Was I this lazy at school I wonder, and if I'm honest I know I was! My approach with the VC students is to somehow develop a relationship with them that is as close to a classroom as possible. For me this means spending a lot of my allocated time emailing them personallyand using the VC time in a similar way-not so much as a teaching time but a time to have a discussion about their progress with their study, their hockey game at the weekend etc. I try to use as many carrots rather than sticks because as VC teachers their are few sticks available.

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Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Darren Sudlow - Wednesday, 16 May 2012, 2:59 PM
 

Very interesting insight on the sticks Garry.  I agree.  

We will always have students who require more follow up and are more difficult to engage.  We can't just get rid of them, we have got to keep finding ways to engage them, then if all else fails and it obviously isn't working we look at the withdrawal option.  It shouldn't be our first option though (not that I am suggesting it is for any of our teachers).

Probably a thread of discussion that is worth exploring in the future.

1962 Ford Thunderbird
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Trevor Scott - Tuesday, 22 May 2012, 3:33 PM
 

I would have to say having an incompatibility of the equipment has posed some problems.  Our gear is HD and schools that don't have HD can not see the computer or the data projector I am using so with some thinking I am using a data projector from my laptop to project onto the wall then using the camera to share what I am doing.  The other thing is having students turn up for class without any papers etc.

Christian Alino
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Christian Alino - Tuesday, 22 May 2012, 7:24 PM
 

We have HD gear also. I am finding this frustrating at times. However, not when I'm using it, but when other students are on another VC class while im in the computer room with my face to face class, and it results in slow internet speeds. Is it possible that the HD equipment is taking lots of our bandwidth?

Outdoor Ed
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Anastacia Hurndell - Wednesday, 23 May 2012, 9:18 AM
 

Hi all. My office is attached to the VC room, so wether I like it or not, I hear what goes on in all my students VCs, if they are on during my free periods. Ive been interested about how eTeachers do two things; respond to questions, keep the students involved. 

One lesson I didnt hear my student say ANYTHING, and had to keep checking they were actually in the room. Two weeks in a row, they were not asked anything on the VC and both VCs ran 20mins under time.

Another, I had a student who was responding to a question and each time she tried to get the right answer, all she got was "NO". I couldnt hear my student replying, but the NO was as clear as if it had been said in my office.

This made me really frustrated for the students, how can they be expected to get involved and stay motivated in classes that run short, where they are not being given ways to be involved in their class and in which they recieve negative feedback? 

While Im here venting - I just have to say to all those people with on-site IT teachnicans or even just onsite admin access to your system - you dont know how lucky you are !!!!!!

Picture of Kimi Clarkson
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Kimi Clarkson - Thursday, 24 May 2012, 11:33 AM
 

Kia ora - sorry I might be one of those e-teachers that you are referring to!

Sometimes I ask students questions and they don't respond OR the students who are with me tend to get in first before the others (not always the case).  I even try singling out students by name sometimes to no avail.  Some students are just whakama (shy) of the cameras or the fact that others can see them.  I'm still figuring out ways to engage students during the VC (being still relatively new to the practice) so would be good to hear other teachers ideas.

I also have run VCs undertime - for the past couple of weeks I have spent half the time going through their assignment that has been due and then wanting them to utilise the remaining time for their assignments while it is still fresh in their minds.  Also, I run two VCs per week - one is usually for instruction for the week ahead and the second is a tutorial type VC to help students with any work they are finding difficult or questions they may have.  Perhaps this is not the ideal and  we could be just having one full VC  instead of the two - I've noticed that the other Reo classes that students take from FarNet only have the one VC per week. (As far as I know its not compulsory for language teachers to have 2 VC sessions). So its all a continual work in progress and one day I'll get it right!!  (hopefully smile

 

 

Outdoor Ed
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Anastacia Hurndell - Thursday, 24 May 2012, 1:17 PM
 

Kimi I snuck into my office one day during your class and the kids were playing the guitar and singing you a song in Te Reo!! Student involvement seems to be at an all time high !  smile

Picture of Kimi Clarkson
Re: Discussion Question Three: Vent
by Kimi Clarkson - Thursday, 24 May 2012, 3:17 PM
 

The girls have beautiful voices !!  Gives me a possible idea for a speaking presentation ! Maybe they could 'sing' it to me instead! Thanks smile