Monday Night Class Madness

My IM554 class started early and ended late; I was only clued in to the ending late part and joined class at our usual 6 pm time — only to find out class started at 5 pm., though many students and the instructor also joined later.

The class sweated through numerous technical difficulties as participants tried to give their online presentations. Yours truly figured out how to upload her presentation but couldn’t get the mike to work. We had low sound, no sound and alien sound coming through the computers. Add a barking dog to the mix and it was quite the class. Several of us had to come back to our presentations and try again after the technically adept gave their presentations.

Luckily, after calling my husband and venting through tears and curses, I was able to fix my computer settings and gave an absolutely riveting presentation (not) on iPods and Somali adult learners. The conclusion I came to in my paper was that creating original podcasts on leadership topics first in English, and tthen translating them into Somali, would benefit the learners in the class I facilitate a great deal.

The adult Somali students who I surveyed wanted me to create the podcasts right away, of course; they said if the things we discussed in the leadership class were translated into Somali, some of the less English-proficient Somali community members would be able to access the training. I’m sure I will figure out how to do this someday — in a cost-efficient way — but first I have to do more research. Better to delay the project rather than bungle it and lose supporters.

By the time I presented, however, we’d lost the instructor to the technology devil, so she missed my presentation: First she lost sound and then she disappeared from class all together. Luckily, one of the students, Julie, was able to take over the facilitator role; she did an outstanding job calming the class and getting all the presentations done.

Next Monday (December 13) will be our last class, and I will miss my classmates. Even though we’ve never really met in person, they’ve been a boon to me in this class, whether helping me through a computer problem or understanding my frustration with online learning. I still prefer the fact-to-face contact in a traditional classroom setting, but it’s nice to know that I can survive an online class.

Until my next blog…

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