Introduction

My First Day at Virtual School

My First Day at Virtual School

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEPq0FvFm3g
This week one of my classes was cancelled. Instead of giving
us all a day off my prof decided to prerecord a two hour long lecture and post
it to YouTube.

My first reaction to this announcement was a defeated sigh.
I really could have used two extra hours to work on assignments and readings,
but I thought I would try it. I have never had a virtual class before and I
thought it would be okay to find out what it is all about.

Right off the bat I want to say that the pros of the virtual
classroom are apparently boundless. Here’s a helpful pro’s list:

  1. I attended this lecture under my duvet, propped up with three fluffy pillows.
  2. I was in my PJ’s
  3. I did not have to brush my hair or put any make up on
  4. I was able to pause and rewind my Prof…something I have often wished I could do in class.
  5. I ate a bowl of cheerios during this lecture

 

So now that you’ve seen the pros list, here’s the cons list:

  1. I attended this lecture under my duvet, propped up with three fluffy pillows.
  2. I was in my PJ’s.
  3. I did not have to brush my hair or put any make up on.
  4. I was able to pause and rewind my Prof…something I have often wished I could do in class.
  5. I ate a bowl of cheerios during this lecture.

 

The astute reader will have noticed that these lists are the same. The great freedoms
that online lectures bring are also the same reason that they do not work for
me. It is hard to pay attention when you don’t have to. It’s difficult to focus
on a really complex argument while slurping the milk out of your bowl of
cheerios. Most importantly, it is impossible to stay awake during a two-hour
lecture in your bed.

I’m happy that I was able to to experience an online lecture at least once while I
was at university, but I hope this is the last. Some students may thrive in this
online classroom. I am not one of those students. I need the hard wooden seats,
the neck aches, and the stabling hand cramps. These things keep me bodily
present during a lecture. Without these physical cues my brain doesn’t seem to
know it’s supposed to be learning.

I’m sure I could train myself to be a good virtual student, but who has the time for that? Next time I have an online class I’ll be more prepared. I’ll drag up the old wooden chair from my basement, turn the heat up in my house to an uncomfortable level, and turn all the lights on. I’ll attempt to create, in the most realistic way possible, the closest thing to a classroom in my house. It’s just too hard to learn when I’m comfortable.

I usually don’t look forward to early morning two hour lectures, but I can’t wait to be in class again instead of in front of my computer screen.

 

-Lori

 

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