Today for class we used Skype and Adobe Pro rather than meeting in an actual classroom. There were a few aspects of tonight’s class that I thought were great, and then there were a few aspects that didn’t go so well.
What did I like?
- I learned about some of the features of Adobe Pro like the “raise hand” button and the private messages (although I could almost see that aspect being not so good with some students)
- Don’t need to download Adobe Pro.
- I felt our conversation on Skype about each others blogs was really good (this may vary between groups). Everyone had different ideas and inputs that I had never considered before (also was a good confidence boost. Thanks everyone! 🙂 ).
- Google Docs. This is a great way to collaboratively work with others from different locations. Allowing everyone to work on the same document at the same time is great, in my opinion, because then everyone can do their fair share of work and so it’s not just one person doing all the work. Many of my other classes stress the importance of using Google Docs and this was just another way to reinforce this.
- The combination of using Google Docs and Skype at the same time. I thought this was really interesting because while everyone wrote their inputs on the questions, we were discussing it at the same time using the audio feature from Skype.
- When Skyping with the group, I liked how we were using Google Docs at the same time because it gave me something to look at. When we did the group call, we could only look at everyone’s profile photos so if I wasn’t also noting on Google Docs what we were discussing, I might have had a hard to focusing on the conversation.
- Because I was hidden behind the computer screen and in smaller groups, I felt more confident to share my ideas (I think others too!)
- Closing remarks: Using Adobe Pro for morning announcements and walking around the school and showing the students whats new and going on in the school. I thought this was a really neat idea!
What didn’t I like?
- When setting up both Adobe Pro and Skype, we had a few technical difficulties. On Adobe Pro, we started 20 minutes late because people were still logging in and setting up (which is expected for the first use of an online class). On Skype, we continuously lost members of our group and kept having to add them back in or restarting a group call.
- At one point on Adobe Pro I got disconnected from the group and it sent me to a troubleshoot page (4 times! I ended up missing some of what Milissa was saying). It logged me out of the session so I had to exit and click on the link through the ECMP blog (I tried pressing back and it didn’t work).
What did I learn?
- I’ve never used Adobe Pro before so I learned a few of its great features (“raising hand” button and the other button on that drop down menu, group chat, private messaging, and you can be a host, guest or presenter).
- On Skype, I didn’t know how to do group calls or add people to the call before and I learned how to today (to do group calls, go to contacts, hold “ctrl” button and click on contacts you wish to call, right click and click on “call group.” To add someone to a call, open up your group call, on the top menu, click “Contacts” and then “Add people”).
- I learned what other people thought made up a good blog (see Google Docs for everyone’s thoughts). A few suggestions I will try to incorporate in my blog are: having a balance between videos, pictures, and actual writing and having a “voice” in my writing.
Here is an article I found online that discusses more about the strengths and weaknesses of online learning.