Zoom has and continues to shape classroom interactions…in ways we may have come to appreciate as well as in ways we certainly dread. Yet we all have to acknowledge that it is not going away anytime soon. Finding ways to change established patterns, lighten things up and bring some levity to our virtual and in-person classrooms can, at times, seem like a huge hurdle to overcome. In a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, How to Play in the College Classroom in a Pandemic, and Why You Should, Sarah Rose Cavanaugh explores why engaging in play can offer meaningful support for student learning. In the article, she identifies play as one of the most natural ways we learn, and shares helpful guidance for ways to introduce play in ways that are emotionally, academically and pedagogically sound. While Zoom – and remote learning – can present its own challenges for realizing what Cavanaugh advocates, it is worth exploring practices that can foster new thinking routines and ways to introduce play to support learning. She also draws upon the work of several pedagogical experts who offer thoughtfully designed activities that can support this work.
If you are interested in exploring these approaches and sharing ideas with colleagues, there is a series of sessions called Reimagining Zoom for Teaching that you might find helpful. These are designed as informal conversations to help us reimagine the kinds of interactions for teaching, learning and connection we can have with our students through Zoom. Participants will be invited to critique the parts of Zoom meetings that fatigue us, while exploring how we can leverage the features of Zoom in different ways to improve the experiences as hosts and participants and as teachers and students. Come to these sessions prepared to practice, play and ponder about teaching and meeting in Zoom.
You can register for these sessions below: