There has been much interest in the use of a virtual classroom for online teaching – UGA currently makes available a virtual classroom called Horizon Wimba (HW). At the last ITT Faculty Academy session, we did a quick demonstration of HW with the promise to follow up with an opportunity to experience it for those who were interested. So, we are going to hold an online HW session this coming Friday:
Friday, February 22 at 2:00 pm
You can attend from anywhere you like, as long as you have a computer (with the right configuration) and an Internet connection, such as your office or from home.
To attend, you just need to let me know of your interest to attend. I will then add you to a special eLC course that uses HW. (If you are receiving this email via some other email account, such as gmail or hotmail, then please send me your UGA email as I need that to add you to the eLC course.)
I will send everyone who replies detailed instructions on what you need to do in preparation (similar to what I send to my students in preparation for an online course).
I will plan on having about 20 minutes worth of ‘content’ for us to experience that shows the full range of HW’s features. But, I’ll actually plan to stay online for a full hour to make sure everyone has plenty of opportunity to ‘play’ with the system. But, many of you will likely get all the information you need in the first 20-30 minutes — you can “enter” and “leave” the HW classroom whenever and how often you wish.
I’m sending this to all ITT Faculty Academy participants over the past two years, plus the COE Online Teaching SIG. All are welcome to join in.
Again, just let me know of your intent to attend on Friday, then look for an email with detailed directions on how to prepare and where to “meet” on Friday.
email Dr. Lloyd Rieber
P.S. If you are interested, but have a conflict for Friday at 2 pm, please let me know. I’m happy to schedule other HW sessions.
Here is a little more background about the Horizon Wimba virtual classroom:
A virtual classroom is a synchronous technology where people come at the same time to experience an educational experience in a space that resembles a real classroom (an experience that can happen “anywhere, but not any time”). Here are some of things that can be done in a virtual classroom:
-The teacher can conduct a lesson with PowerPoint slides with 2-way audio where students can ask questions (via internet audio or a chat window);
-The teacher can facilitate a whole class discussion;
-Ask students to answer pre-made polls with results computed and displayed immediately;
-Share a window on the teacher’s computer to demonstrate something (like an excel spreadsheet);
-Push web sites to students that open in new windows;
-Share video of the teacher (and the students);
-Send students to “break out” rooms to hold a small group discussion and then automatically bring them back to the main room to give a report.
-The virtual classroom can also be made available to students 24/7 so that they ‘meet’ to discuss issues, work on projects collaboratively, etc.
-HW sessions can be recorded and viewed later; this is very helpful for students who miss a class.