When I first started teaching for SJSU, I had to learn Canvas quickly. Last semester,
I had another opportunity that required me to learn Zoom quickly. As a whole, these
two teaching tools have allowed me to stay connected to my students and provide support
for them in mutually beneficial ways. My favorite part of online teaching is the pre-class
time and Virtual office hours on Zoom when I get to visit with my students, answer
questions, and be connected in meaningful ways via video conferencing. While I prefer
the in-person classes, I am grateful that I am teaching in this technologically advanced
age that allows such interactions! Stay well, fellow Spartans!
I was hired in January 2020 to teach in the School of Social Work. I have worked as
a social worker for over thirty years, but I am new to teaching. Not only did I need
to prepare lectures and learn Canvas, but March hit, and I needed to learn Zoom and
teach online!. With the help from Bethany Winslow, eCampus Instructional Designer,
I have been able to tackle this steep learning curve. I have surprised myself by being
able to do this...I am not a computer person at all! When my students expressed concern
that they would no longer be able to have small group discussions during online class
time, I was able to reassure them that they still can...with Break Out Rooms!
I was very concerned when the changeover to online instruction was announced. I had
refused to learn or use Canvas after an 18-month period when SJSU migrated from Blackboard
to D2L to Canvas. I have been highly gratified to find how flexible Canvas actually
is and the variety of pedagogical approaches it enables. While I mainly employed the
synchronous, Zoom class mode this semester, I am already looking forward to implementing
asynchronous approaches, including the "flipped classroom" approach in the fall. I
would also be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the invaluable help of eCampus. It doesn't
matter what a platform can do if faculty don't know how to use it.