Building confidence with technology as well as with art. . .

18-June-2021
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Our tutor Robert Meredith shares the way in which online classes have shaped his teaching, his learners’ experiences, and how they have grown together to build-up greater confidence with technology as and art.

Robert tells us, “Last term (January to March 2021) progressed entirely online within the Microsoft Teams platform. This term we have continued online but hope to revert to face-to-face once the opportunity presents.

“The journey from face-to-face to online has been one of fear and difficulty for many, but over the months the weekly routine of “getting online” has been less onerous, and more of an acceptance as the “new norm”. There have been some initial difficulties for members of the group but through determination and more guidance from me, they have remained on course, where otherwise they may have given up and left.

“Technology for some has been a major challenge. Old PC’s, losing connection, being in the wrong part of the application (MS Teams) and so on; there has also been times when either my PC or the learner’s has simply misbehaved, all resulting in ‘fractured sessions’ where continuity has been difficult.

“I do sense, however, that the reality of seeing others on screen and also my shared screen of the task I am demonstrating has made it a more relaxing and pleasurable experience. The group look forward each week to “seeing” each other and myself, with the task in front of them. I email the task prior to the session, as our learners are so keen they would do the task days before we are due to work on it together! This mystery of waiting the day before has made it “more exciting”, so said a member of the group.

“With regards to using Microsoft Teams, this has given the option to record sections of the lesson where I show the task being created in front of our learners. The fact that many of the videos have been watched after the session is great, as sometimes those who missed the class could go into Teams and view the demonstration for themselves and catch up the work through the week.

“During the lockdown and the adopting our online methods has made the learners use more technology where his has widened their skillset. Photographing their artwork, then emailing this to me with comments or reflective thoughts, has enabled me to create another web presence this time through Wixsite.com to display and show off their work. This has been something they ALL love being a part of – the experience has been really inclusive.

“Since using Teams, the class has grown together and individuals have developed greater confidence with technology as well as with their art. These skills have helped to deal with the present Covid-19 climate while the classes have been a great source of wellbeing and creativity. Our learners all are looking forward to the return of face-to-face sessions, but I am sure the online display of artistic achievement will continue.”

Our congratulations go to Robert and all of his learners. Keep up the great work and we look forward to following the learners progress.

Visit the Community Virtual Online Gallery here to view the ‘Wixsite’ gallery, amongst others and learn more about our learners and their work.

If you would like to join an art class, take a look at our current courses here!

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