Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Live Webclasses for Homeschoolers

So I woke up this morning with the coolest idea.

I could teach webclasses live online for homeschooled kids using Google+ Hangouts. Me plus up to 9 families (I figure even up to 3 students per family can fit comfortably on a webcam, although not many families have that many kids who would want to work on the same level). That's a full classroom size.

And--here's the cool part--we could teach online and use a screen capture program like cam studio to FILM the classes while they were happening, and then we could post the videos to YouTube for anyone to watch later and learn from.  Like Khan Academy, but with a live teacher on screen interacting with real students.

I'm all abuzz with ideas of what I could teach...all the writing and English classes I taught before, for starters. And I did some AWESOME classes in the 6 years I taught junior high and college. (I happen to be a rather good teacher). The Saxon Math classes I teach my kids could go up on YouTube (which would give you a whole saxon math course online eventually). Science stuff. Caleb says Ancient Egypt! Astronomy!  Science courses.

Of course, writing. Duh. Except I think I'd make the homeschool kids' parents correct their work. I love teaching writing, but I'm not too fond of grading papers.

And with the text chat functions on Google+ Hangouts, I could put in links to collaborative documents in Google Docs, which we could all have access to edit at once so we could work on projects together....

I need to start messing around and see what's not just possible, but most effective.

And then I need a couple of webcams--one for me and one for the kids--so I could actually teach. That's our main hangup.  Otherwise, I'd start tomorrow! Once a week, meet me online for a group homeschool class.

Other parents could teach, too, sharing their expertise. It would be awesome. You could do anything a real-live class could do--art classes where the students actually can watch each other working in front of the computer. Science classes where the teacher actually does experiments or takes you on location to look at, oh, trees or rocks or whatever. American Heritage class where some brave teacher travels to the actual sites of the events to teach about them  (gosh would I love to do that!). Ooooh--art history where you actually stand in front of the actual paintings, and then put links to them online in the text notes so students can study them more closely later....

The possibilities are so exciting!

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