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Zoom versus in-person teaching

“Zoom Background For Videoconferencing in Style”

I taught my first in-person class in nearly two years today. (CU went remote in March of 2020 and stayed that way until last fall. I was on sabbatical at that point, and the first two weeks of this semester were remote because of Omicron and the Marshall fire).

These things are obviously idiosyncratic, but I was struck by the enormous qualitative difference — for me, and I suspect for the students — between the in-person and Zoom versions of teaching. This was for a combination lecture and discussion class with about 60 students btw.

One of my brothers is a professional recording engineer, and he tells me that Zoom is a very primitive technology in regard to what is available “out there,” so maybe my sense of the extreme limitations of remote teaching is already anachronistic, or will be in the not too distant future. Or maybe my sense of the gap is greater than that felt by the typical teacher.

Also too, maybe the gap is a lot smaller if you’re doing a pure lecture for Psych 101 to 300 students in an auditorium or whatever.

All that said, I got a very strong sense of why so many students are less than happy with the idea that they should be paying in-person prices for a remote experience.

Hopefully one day soon we’ll all be able to look back on this time and cry.

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