I am feeling relieved. I have discovered some great tools; things that are possible leads on some potential classroom tech that I think will be very creative and helpful to my students. I have also come up with some backup lesson plans just in case I discover that the plans will not work. However, I think this idea will work at the very least in a rudimentary way.
My first idea came after playing around with recording the narration of the text we are currently reading. As I was recording I noticed I was making mistakes and getting interrupted. Not only am I not a trained audiobook narrator, I’m also not a great audio editor. I’m sure with some practice I could figure it out and make it work, but the mistakes I was making were hindering me and wasting time, and right now time is precious. As teachers we are being asked to do so much work and my anxiety has not made that easy. As I’ve said before in previous posts, I’ve wasted a grand chunk of time. But as I was recording, I thought maybe there’s another way that I could continue the lesson plan that I was originally going to do but in a live format while also allowing my students to have the opportunity to either rewatch it as a recording, or for those who weren’t there, they could view the recording as a means of getting the content. So I did what I do best. I started Googling.
I searched for a means of recording of a Google hangout. What I found was that while I don’t have access to Google suite to record a Google hangout directly from Google, through YouTube live I can record a hangout. Now this is something I’m going to have to test tomorrow because it takes 24 hours before YouTube will let you record a live stream. I am very hopeful for this option. I think it would be a great way for me to schedule a time frame and have students come and observe, and we can interact. For those who cannot attend, I will post it on Canvas giving them the same opportunities as the other students. It excites me that I may have found a way to connect directly with my students instead of being just on a camera recording and emailing back and forth.
My backup plan for if live streaming is not an option is No Fear Shakespeare. The reason for this choice is simple. It’s readily available online as both text and audiobook. Instead of recording myself and turning my current text into a pdf file, I could simply link to everything and use the studio feature in Canvas to make video check in points. However, this is not my favorite backup option. In fact, it wouldn’t even be my second favorite backup option. There are a couple major problems that would need to be adjusted for.
The first issue is that No Fear Shakespeare is a different text than what we have been reading currently. The text we’re reading currently is a leveled ESL reader and is definitely abridged in ways that make it easier for my students to comprehend. No Fear Shakespeare is not that. While it certainly presents text that is translated for modern audiences, level 2 ESL students still struggle with the complexity of the vocabulary and grammar. Another issue to using No Fear Shakespeare is that it is longer which means it would take us into more than one week’s worth of work. To most teachers, including myself in most circumstances, that is great. However, I am already in the process of planning the week after. This would bump those plans back far enough for there to be little to no continuity within the other lessons at the end of the year.
I am hoping that the first option works and that I don’t have to fall back on the other option. Again I think it is an excellent way for me to personally interact with the students in real time and leave a way for other students who cannot be there to participate. Making videos is cool and feels really good and feels productive but when I’m not actually connecting with my students that at the same time feels really empty.