Saturday, May 14, 2011

First Adobe Connect Session

On Wednesday I have been given a grade by my Year 11 French for our first synchronous lesson using Adobe Connect. My grade was not very good but the kids were very encouraging. So here we are!!! they gave me a 4 out of 10.

To be honest I thought that 4 was very good as I would not have given myself a 4, I would have given me a 0 or a 1. So 4 is quite good, and as I see it next week I only can be better :-) In 6 weeks I will be a 10/10 !!!!

So what happened?

I set up my class in groups of 2 or 3. I know it would have been better teaching practice if I had asked the students to put themselves into groups instead of me being bossy and group them. Why have I been bossy? I was afraid that kids would go with their mates, I thought it was better to pair them up with someone who knew how to use a computer. Thus they could collaborate and help each other. None of the kids complained about me creating those groups anyway.

Then I left the kids with notebooks (with webcam and microphone) and the URL they needed to access the meeting. I went into a conference room while the students stayed into our French room. When I saw them entering the meeting room, I started to feel relieved. At least they could use the URL.

So we started the lesson. The students complained about the delay between my voice and what I was showing on my screen. I think (I am only assuming here!) that the speed of the school connection could have been responsible for the delay. They also complained about the echo with the microphones.
I was very proud that they took the initiative of splitting the class. Some stayed in the room, some went in the classroom next door, some in an empty office while others went outside sitting in front of the Wharenui. As soon as they all went their ways, the problem of the echoing was resolved :-)

Twice I have been disconnected and so wasted time reconnecting. Although I had planned a full hour lesson, we only managed to do ⅓ of it.

At the end of the lesson I felt quite embarrassed but the kids were smiling and they said that for our first lesson it was fine. One student even offered me to meet again during the week-end in order for me to practice more using Adobe connect. This was very touching :-)

RECAP: I was bad, but next time I will be better !!!


  1. Hi Florence
    It is great that your students are supporting you with this :-) Mine are the same, very patient when things don't go right and give me feedback about how we are going.
    This isn't you that is causing the problems you describe above - it is bandwidth problems. Slow bandwidth causes a delay in the time it takes for things to load on the page (kids not being able to see what you are talking about) and having to reconnect to the classroom. As far as the audio feedback, that can happen even when participants aren't alongside each other - it is best to make sure people mute their audio when they aren't speaking. Perhaps headset would be useful too - if you can get them for school.
    Although you may have reasonable bandwidth coming into the school, I am guessing if there are a number of people online all at the same time, this is going to be a big drain on how much bandwidth each participant can get to their desktop. Maybe worth all doing a speedtest when you are online together next time to see what speed you are connecting at?
    We have had a terrible week in our online classes this week and it's all been down to poor internet connections. I have adjusted the settings in my adobe classrooms to optimise the room to work at dial up speed - I am hoping this may might help make a difference. You can find this setting from the menu bar at the top of your Adobe room - hunt around you will find it there.
    You will get better, every time you get better and more capable, but sometimes there is no accounting for technology :-)

  2. Thanks heaps for those kind words :-)

    You are right i am very lucky that the students are very nice to me and that their feedback is very constructive.

    This week we had our second lesson and it went very well :-)

  3. I think you're too hard on yourself. This online conferencing stuff takes a lot of getting used to and with any skills, gets better as you go along.

    I love the way you asked your students to give you a grade...very brave :) How do the students feel about you asking for their feedback like that?

  4. my students are used to me asking for feedback. I do that all the time. I need to, in order to get better