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October 13, 2020 | Melissa McCallihan
Recently we received the gift of a wireless/bluetooth speaker for our classroom and it has brought us closer as a community. Before the speaker, all the on campus students and those off campus would log in to Zoom to watch the daily Worship video. It felt so isolating, even though we were all sitting in the classroom and on Zoom together!
After the speaker arrived, we were able to broadcast the video to the on campus community while I Zoomed with the students at home. Before we start the video, I broadcast the Zoom call on the projector and we all get super excited to see everyone’s face! We yell our hellos and laugh together as someone invariably makes a face or shares a funny anecdote. It feels as though everyone is in the classroom at the same time.
As a community we are brainstorming ways to broadcast the students in the classroom to the folks online. We’ve tried turning the laptop toward the students but you just can’t get them all in. Also, it’s hard to hear them unless the on campus students shout. We are continuing to brainstorm solutions to this issue.
Building community is all about the relationships between the students, and between the students and me. This is just one way we are working on it.
There are other ways we are encouraging a strong community.
We are building a community that is playful, encouraging and challenging.