Tuesday 18th April, 2017
Steve Brigham teaches at MET school’s Illawarra campus and believes that video conferencing (VC) helps students not only with a better understanding of a subject, but helps with grades, too.
“As teachers we have to make sure what we are trying to communicate to the students is clear enough for every student to understand,” he says. “It can be challenging getting the teaching balance between student-centered activities and teacher-centered but this is always helps if you consistently try to get feedback from your cohort of students. One of the most rewarding aspects is student diversity and scope for them to get different opinions and concepts to help with a more in-depth understanding of the content. It also opens up student to more healthy competition which I find increases grades and standards.”
Then there is the practical side to VC learning, which compared to traditional classrooms, is more flexible in that everything is at a student and teacher’s fingertips.
“As a teacher I like the fact that all the student work is in one place,” says Steve. “If a student needs to get an assessment task because they have misplaced it they can get it 24/7. This is the same for content for revision for exams and further clarity if they find they need to revisit a part of the course. I also like the accountability with student and teachers as you can clearly see. It also helps those who need more assistance and the medium makes students communicate more with the teacher.”
A good side effect of VC is that students are accountable and, in some cases, more accepting of the teaching method. Steve believes this prepares them better for when their working life starts.
“I find student are very adaptive to the new environment sometimes more than staff,” he says. “I like the fact that students have to be more independent and accountable as this gets them ready for the real world. A big lesson they learn is that being proactive rather than reactive helps them with their grades and it is a great life lesson.”
As for advice to teachers who are starting on their VC journey, don’t be shy about asking colleagues for help as you get used to the new concepts it offers.
“My best piece of advice is that they find the best medium to support their teaching style and stick with that to help get them course across,” he says, “and don’t hesitate to ask colleagues as I have always found everyone at MET only too willing to help if asked.”