Monday, December 5, 2011

Face-to-Face Interaction: It Happens

A photo from our glassblowing demonstration at the Toledo Museum of Art

Tonight I had the very unique experience of Parent-Teacher conferences at an online school. “Do you just talk to them over webcam?” you might ask. Actually, twice a year, the school that I work for holds face-to-face parent teacher conferences during professional development. Parents and students are invited from all over the state to meet with all of the students’ teachers in person. The student and parents sit down at tables and all of their teachers come to meet them, in many cases for the first time. In this environment, parents and students get the opportunity to talk to all of their teachers at the same time as a group about their performance in school. It is a big, exciting event that provides the face-to-face interaction familiar to a brick and mortar school. I was able to meet with two of my students tonight and talk about their experiences in my class. We have many opportunities during the year to interact with students in person. Last month I traveled to the Toledo Museum of Art for a field trip. Students came from Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo for the trip and experienced a guided tour, glassblowing demonstration, and a cold glass activity. It was an enjoyable experience for the students, their families, and myself to spend time learning together and experiencing art. I feel that these types of experiences help distance us from the idea that online education is only a present in the virtual world. It also provides students and parents with the confirmation and reminder that I am a caring individual that is invested in their child’s education. 
Students working with cold glass creating sun catchers at the Toledo Museum of Art

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