10. Convenience. No more driving in nasty weather! ‘Nuff said.
9. Accessibility. Online options have offered a level of accessibility to some students who may not have been able to attend our in-person classes or required other supports.
8. Review. Our online teaching Zoom sessions can be recorded fairly easily and what a great opportunity to give students some extra access back to remind them what was covered in the session.
7. Sharing. Remote recitals and performances have permitted friends and families that reside outside one’s geographic area to enjoy our music-making.
6. Flexible hours. Though this applies less to classroom teachers, others have found that they can offer more variety in their online lessons or class times because they can potentially work at any hour of the day from home. A big advantage to people with families or other jobs.
5. Connections. It’s a global village and we’ve met so many new students in our online ukulele lessons and classes by being able to be online. So many new friends!
4. Recordings. Though recording performances isn’t new, it saw a major uptake during the pandemic as people began finding ways to create virtual ensembles or even get better at recording themselves individually. So many musical artifacts we now have as memories!
3. Tech training. A controversial advantage, online teaching has pushed many of us to learn more about technology. Though constant change and intense learning curves were part of the deal, it prompted so much learning as teachers that we would not necessarily have done had it not been thrust upon us. Whether you got comfortable with Zoom, or learned how to create group videos, it’s likely you advanced your technological comfort in some way and that’s fantastic! Technology itself has also improved. The last few years has seen a big push from technology developers, as well. Look at how many new advancements we’ve seen over this time that help us in our teaching!
2. Comfortable pants! I mean, this is my favourite advantage of online teaching, what’s not to love about wearing comfy clothing while you teach? Though we’ve also learned that even though you are only seen from the waist up online, you still need to have something on the bottom half, just in case.
1. The big picture. We can change, evolve, adjust and get by as individuals and as a community. Whatever you did in your own teaching environment—whether that was managing a full slate of programming, keeping your school classrooms progressing and connected, or just teaching a family member or advancing your own skills—you’ve shown resilience. This hasn’t been an easy time on many levels but we’ve seen that we’re capable of rising to the occasion and thinking creatively. Most of all, we’ve gotten by as a community, supporting one another as we’ve taken this wild and wooly journey together. We’re in this together and we’ll keep getting through it together. Here’s to you and our year ahead together!
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