Sunday 19th March, 2017
Natalie Shephard is a history teacher at the Melton campus of the Glenvale School in Victoria and is part of the Video Conferencing (VC) team. Natalie has found the experience both rewarding and challenging.
Challenges include making sure the students get to their class on time. This can be frustrating if a student is not in class because it entails Natalie or somebody in the admin staff having to call another campus to find out why the student is missing. Although technology can sometimes be frustrating, Natalie is finding that this aspect of teaching is getting better. The introduction of Zoom in Victoria has greatly facilitated teaching in a virtual environment.
As any teacher at any school in Australia can attest, technology can be distracting, but the amount of options it gives a teaching environment cannot be denied.
As for VC there are plenty of positives including students having the option to take what subjects they like, which would not be possible the video link. “I like the flexibility and the options that it gives you,” says Natalie. “And although the students find it confronting at first – they often hate being on screen and feel more exposed – they soon get used to it.”
And student motivation? This isn’t an issue. “I teach an elective subject – students have generally chosen the subject knowing that it will be taught via VC,” she says. “In my experience, they are pretty self-motivated.”