We spent some time in the Mandarin Grade 3 class with Zhang Laoshi during language arts seeing how she involves both on-site and remote students in her lessons. With the support of the Polycom camera, the remote student can see either the entire class or focus and follow a particular student who is speaking. The remote student is projected on the screen visible to all the students on-site making them an integral part of the classroom. The remote student raises his or her hand to participate just as if he were in class. An onsite student teacher assigned each day has the role not only of leading some activities but providing another set of eyes looking out for signals from the remote student.
The interactive whiteboard and pen also enable students to receive direct feedback on their work, interacting with work projected large enough on screen for all students to see. In these clips you will see how students are learning stroke order on Chinese characters and receiving feedback upon completing the activity.
Aside from connecting in class our teachers connect with remote students twice per week in a one on one basis. This is an important aspect of ensuring that any issues learning remotely can be addressed.
As Zhang Laoshi mentions that hybrid teaching requires that she is continually thinking how both onsite and remote students are receiving the lesson. In preparing for class, she also is thinking about how the materials can be accessed both in hard copy and electronically for those signing on remote. “It’s a good thing I learned a lot this past spring when we were virtual which has helped me develop my system of teaching in this new way”.