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& DIFFERENT? ISTELETEACHING I HARDWAREPERIPHERALS

any teachers are being thrust into the role of'teleteacheriThis sometimes occurs because an new has organisation investigated and creative ways of delivering groups of learners. However, educationto dispersed must do more organisations it often occursbecause with less and teleteaching is seen as one way of achievingthis.No matterwhat the motivatingfactor, teleteaching presents exciting new opportunities and students. for teachers It also raisesmany questionsfor those who have never been involved in teleteaching before.What are the issuesto be consideredand what are the differencesand similaritiesbetween teleteaching and face-to-faceteaching?

For their telelearningsessions. some teachersthis involveslearninga new set of skills. Probablythe biggest differenceis your working space In a face-to-face situation you are free to wander around the room, look at students'worK participatein numerous small group discussions, distribute materialt have students gather around you, work on a one-to-one basisand change the directionofyour lessondepending upon students' interestand motivation (or lackthereof).All this is undertakenin a defined spacewhere you can see and hear all students at all times. In teleteaching some,or all,of your studentswill not be physically located with you. lf you wander around the room the students at other sites will not be able to see you, and private conversationsare difficult depending upon your microphonesituation. Your students are likely to have less of an emotional connection and commitment to you challenge when you havenot met face-to-face.The is for the teleteacherto'break through the glass' and add the human touch to what is a remote exDenence. Below is a brief summarv of some of the differences. On top of all thil it may be that teleteachingis being usedto reacha student populationthat you

to have never taught before.lssues be considered here are background,experience and expectations if culturalissues you are of studentsand especially extending beyond the boundaries of your own country. What's similar? Despite the long list of differencesabove, there are many similaritiesbetween teleteaching and face-to-face teaching. The most important of these is that good teaching is just that! Most of teaching and learning the conditionsfor desirable situationscan be achieved through teleteaching - it just takes a little creativethinking.This is the challenge!

MakingtheTransition
For most teachers the transition is not overly difficult. lt usually enables them to revisit their content and teaching strategiesand repackage and vigour.Support their deliverywith enthusiasm is what teachersneed most of all.Support in the and training.lttakestime to form of time,resources redesigna coursefor deliveryvia teleteachingand time to becomefamiliarwith the new environment in and equipment.Resources the form of teaching to relief, expert adviceand access the teleteaching room are necessary.

What lsTeleteaching?
is Teleteaching a term that has been used for some time now.lt first appearedand was originallyusedto describeteachingthat was deliveredvia'tele'vision. Howevet the term is now used to encompass teaching that employs a variety of technologies. Those that are currently popular are web or video TV. satellite and interactive conferencing The most common factor for teleteachingis that it involvesthe use of communicationstechnology to interactwith studentsin'real'time.As technology changes, so will our concept of teleteaching. 'real-time' interaction is an important However, component of teleteaching and this defines the that can be used. types ofteaching strategies

and teleteaching between face-to-face Table 1: Somedifferences

Equipment VCR/DVD, puter. com rd, Whiteboa OHP, Studentlocation ln the roomwithvou. What teachersees at Allstudents alltimes What studentssee shown ANDanvvisuals Theteacher

m , C a m e r a / sm o n i t o r / s , i c r o p h o n e / sd o c u m e n t , computer. camera,control panel,VCR/DVD, Some studentsmay be with you,otherswill be at one or more siteswhich may be hundredsof kilometresaway. , D e p e n d i n go n t h e o p e r a t i n gs y s t e m p r o b a b l yo n l y o n e s i t ea t a n y g i v e n t i m e i e a n u m b e r o f s t u d e n t sa r e unseen. s T h e t e a c h e rO R a n y v i s u a l s h o w n O R s t u d e n t sa t o t h e r s i t e s ( T h i sc a n v a r y d e p e n d i n go n t h e s y s t e m . )

V Teleteaching Face-To-Face
So how does teleteaching compare to face-to-face have if What adjustments, any,do teachers teaching? | to makefor teleteaching?encountermany decision makerswho think that becausevideoconferencing allows teachers and students to see each other then it is just the same as teaching face-to-face. conceptualleap because This is an understandable videoconferencingis as close as you can get to without being there. Howevet there are face-to-face, to and it is essential considerthesewhen differences planningto venturedown the path ofteleteaching. What's different? is One of the major differences that you are moving into a distance education/open learning/flexible delivery/blended learning mode and this brings with it a new way of planning and structuringthe course. It is unlikely that you will be teleteaching for the same number of hours as the course takes in a face-to-facesituation.You will need to develop learning support materials(most likelyself-directed guides) which students work through between

t m M i c r o p h o n e s u s t b e u s e d .l f t h e s ea r e ' p r e s s o t a l k ' and hear Abilityto speak h e a r di f t h e y d o n o t p r e s s s hear andspeak m o d e l s , t u d e n t sw i l l n o t b e can and Teacher students the button to aitivatethe microphone. otherat anytime. to each lnteraction T h e d y n a m i c sa n d e n e r g yo f t h e r o o m a e n c o u r a g ep a r t i c i p a t i o n n d i n t e r e s t . P a r t i c i p a n t v i e w a m o n i t o r a n d c a n e a s i l yb e c o m e s f p a s s i v e i e w e r s . Y o u u s t d e s i g ns t r a t e g i e so r m v a m a i n t a i n i n gs t u d e n t p a r t i c i p a t i o n n d i n t e r e s t . i S o m e w h e r e n t h e b a c k g r o u n dw i l l b e a r a f t o f s p e c i a l i s tw h o m a n a g ea n d m a i n t a i nt h e e q u i p m e n t s you will be using.

support Operational not Usuallv reouired.

A w e l l d e s i g n e dc o u r s ew i l l n e e d c o u r s ed e v e l o p e r s Preparation t a n d s o m e i n p u t f r o m e x p e r i e n c e de l e t e a c h e r s . Y o u f Y o u a r e r e s p o n s i b l eo r p r e p a r i n gy o u r g t o r e d e s i g n r a p h i cm a t e r i a l I t m a y p r o g r a ma n d m a t e r i a l s . T h i s m a y a l s on e e d own teaching a l i n v o l v ei n s t r u c t i o n ad e s i g n e r s n d g r a p h i ca r t i s t s . i s u s u a l l yd o n e a l o n e ,b u t y o u m a y i n c l u d e i c o l l e a g u e sn t h e p r o c e s s . some Teaching session length T h i s i s u s u a l l vi n a 2 - 3 h o u r b l o c k . n t I t i s n o t a p p r o p r i a t e o h a v es t u d e n t s ' s c r e e w a t c h i n g ' ' o n - s c r e e n ' s h o u lb e d t for morethan an hour.The ime b r o k e n i n t o s m a l l e rs e q m e n t s .

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& DIFFERENT? ISTELETEACHING I HARDWAREPERIPHERALS

And finally, and by far the most important, teachersneed training. Not just training on how to operate equipment,but on how to adapt their what strategies coursefor deliveryand,specifically, are most effective for teleteaching. With or without the support of the organisation, there are strategiesthat a teleteachercan adopt to make their role more effectiveand fulfilling for and their students. both themselves Feeling at ease to for It is essential teleteachers feel at ease with technology their equipment and environment.The (Note I do not say needs to become transparent. 'invisible'as I think it impossible to make any can technology invisible.)This only be achievedby room and practice. familiaritywith the teleteaching practice with other teachers and Practicealone, practice with 'stand-in' students. Do you know how to switch between the visualsyou want to show? Do you know exactly what your students are seeing at any point in time? Do you feel in charge of your teaching environment? Are you about teleteaching? enthusiastic Once you are comfortable with your new surroundings,it is time to concentrate on the First and foremost,you are a educational issues. teacher and this is what you do best.Don't try to change your style becauseyou are bn televisionl You are not bn television'- you are teaching - it you just happensto be through a screen. Basically teach in much the same way as you normally do (assumingthat you do that in an interestingand way). interactive Classsize The sizeof your classwill greatly affectthe way in lf which you designyour sessions. you are working with lessthan 25 studentsyou can interact more easilyand more often than you can with a large group. lnteraction Most teleteachers agree that interaction is an

important element in their teaching - after all it is from teleteaching the only thing that distinguishes a video tape! Interactivitytakes many forms; it is notjust limited to audio and video,orjustteacherthe lt student interactions. represents connectivity the local tutors the studentsfeel with the teacher, teleteaching involves and their peers.Successful interactivity between teacher and students; between students and the learning environment; as and among studentsthemselves, well as active learning in the classroom.This does not just happen when you make the technicalconnection. Interactionmust be planned and encouraged. Feedback for of One of the most difficultaspects teleteaching those new to it is the difficulty in recognisingthe usual non-verbalcues from students.Withoutthe non-verbalcues,you need to communicate with students to check their attention and progress. Interacting with direct questions about their understanding as well as encouraging dialogue from all siteswill help overcome the lack of nonverDats. Teaching strategies Teleteaching involves using a medium that is to primarilya visualone,so it is essential capitalise your lesson.Try on this.Thechallengeis to visualise to think in picturesratherthan words.Spaceis too short hereto listthe numerousteachingstrategies that can be effectively employed as this is the subjectof training sessions. Student expectations From years of watching commercial television, students come with expectations of how information should be presented. Because the teleteacheris coming to them via a monitor,they 'entertained'withall of the advanced expect to be theatricalsavailableto the television producer.I try don't recommendthat teleteachers to emulate this (just the opposite),but always consider the visual aspect and work with good visual aids.

Don't ignore the fact that studentswill come with preconceptions and educate them as what to expect from teleteaching. Students will also have to make adaptations to their behaviour,e.g. use microphones and be need instructionand practice seenon screen.They Evenafter this, with the technology to feel at ease. adjustedto using they may not be psychologically the technology and you need to plan ways to continuallyput studentsat ease- throughout the enttrecourse. ls teleteaching different?Yes and no! On the one hand,organisinga telecourseis very different from organisinga traditionalcoursesinceyou are different using a differentmedium which presents kinds of teaching opportunities as well as places on constraints what you can do. On the other hand,the basicsare the same but we need to make some adaptations. . Good teachingpracticeis essentlal. . Planningand organisation essential. are . lnteractionwith learners vital and must be is built into the session. . Useof well-designed graphic materialis vital . Be familiarwith your equipment so both you and your studentsfeel at ease. A careful look at this list will show that all of for these items are alsoessential good face-to-face teaching.I rest my case! of & CarolDaunt is Founder MonagingDirector LeornTel opplicotion in hos PtyLtd.She beeninvolved the design, since1986 use and effective of leorningtechnologies os in internationally o leoder thefield. ond is recognised Dip DistEd;B Ed& M Ed Carolholdsa DipT;Grod (Research)her thesis the investigated notureof ng. interaction in videoconferenci Shehos been journolsand isa frequent published numerous in of conferences Copies someof speoker internotionol at thesepopersond articlescan be downloaded u at http'l/wwwleorntel.com.a

in: in Established 1995,we specialise . Interactive Systems & Presentation Whiteboards . Lockable & Trolley's Cabinets Notebook . Curriculum Notebooks Servers & PC's, . Desktop Applications Management . Storage (SAN) AreaNetworks . Technical & Support Services 'Educational Software

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