In the first few years of our distance learning program, I thought that view only sessions were a waste of time and energy. In those days, classes had to travel to the high school to get access to videoconferencing. VC is an interactive medium, so I didn’t want anyone to waste their time, energy and funding just to do a view only session. I’ve felt strongly for the past several years that VC isn’t worth doing if you can’t interact with the people on the other side.
However, I’m beginning to change my mind. Now most of our teachers have access to VC in their building. They don’t have to travel.
In addition, they are still very nervous about the possibility of videoconferencing. They want to know what to expect. They want to see how it works. They don’t want to commit to involving their students until they know it’s worth their time and meets the goals of the curriculum.
Enter view only sessions.
View only sessions allow teachers to experience the possibilities with students in a low-key environment. Everyone can watch how the event occurs. They don’t have to say anything or be on camera, but they can see what happens in a typical videoconference. While watching how others behave in a videoconference, they can learn how to teach their own students how to behave in a videoconference.
A view only session is a stepping stone to a full videoconference.
Do you agree?