Adventures in Virtual Teaching
As with many teachers in the quilting industry, I have done the pivot and started teaching virtually. Yes, it’s been quite the adventure.
As of January, 2020, my schedule for the year was pretty full. I had one or two classes or lectures booked every week for the whole year, and I was thrilled that my business was finally productive. Then, of course, the great shutdown happened. No one wanted to be in a group activity, especially in an indoor space, so basically my business crashed and burned.
I spent the spring and summer planning to teach and lecture online. I took many classes in business, video production, technology, etc. All new equipment had to be ordered (laptop, lighting, equipment stands, etc.) which, of course, was backordered because absolutely everyone was trying to gear up for virtual work. Once the equipment finally came in, there was *that* learning curve.
Now I’m up and running. Yet, technology is *not* my friend. There’s always some kind of glitch. I’ve learned to have a back-up plan, and a back-up to the back-up plan.
For example, last week I taught at the International Quilt Festival’s online event, the Virtual Quilt Festival. I had a lecture scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Wouldn’t you know it, a Nor’easter blew through New Hampshire that afternoon, and I lost power one hour before the lecture. It was a mad scramble to set up the generator, run a 100-foot extension cord to the modem in my office, and run another 100-foot extension cord for my microphone. All my other equipment’s batteries were fully charged, and I was good to go. I pulled out two camping lanterns for light in my studio, creating a romantic ambiance. The power flickered a few times during the lecture, but I just plowed through. My studio was dark, but most of the lecture was a PowerPoint presentation, so my students were able to see just fine. Whew! Another exciting adventure.
I’ve joined a few professional online groups, where we can vent, share are virtual stories, and celebrate our online experiences. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one trying to get through this with my sanity in check.
I learn something with each lecture or class, and the experience is getting better. I want my students to enjoy my online classes and lectures as much as my in-person events.
Hopefully you’ve had some good, or even great, online classes and lectures. Make sure to let the teacher know when they’ve done a good job. They’ll appreciate it!
Tell me about your own Adventures in Virtual Teaching – everyone has a story!