Your typical math class has a blackboard, an instructor and usually several confused students. A recent summer review math class at the University of Houston may have had some confused students, but it was missing the instructor—at least she wasn’t there in person. The students were getting schooled through Skype.
“The students are there on campus, but I’m in Bolivia, South America. La Paz. My house,” said Maria Alejandra Gonzalez Rojas, a UH math major and teachHouston participant. She had planned to teach the math review class, but a family emergency called her back to Bolivia. Not wanting to disrupt the arrangements, Rojas planned to teach the class from her home in South America.
“They still have quizzes and homework,” she said. “I’m using special software and they get everything done.”
Skype is a communication venue that connects people and files around the world through video on your laptop. Tech-savvy youth adjusted easily to the new instruction.
“She basically goes from step by step. She puts it on the ‘board,’ which we see, so we’re able to follow on our worksheet,” commented one student.
“Another good thing is that she can use the Instant Messaging to answer our question or send us equations,” commented another.
The experiment may spawn other Skype instruction that may connect UH students to experts anywhere in the world.
“It’s a lot of fun and a lot of work, but I think it’s worth it,” Rojas said.
Teaching via Skype is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston. I’m Marisa Ramirez.
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