Teachers have resorted to thinking of different ways as to how they can deliver discussions to their students while they are all at home. Besides, they have to come up with a creative way of teaching remotely for their students to not lose their focus on the discussions.
The Man Behind the Idea
Robert Yang, a designer, and educator, thought of a creative way of teaching his remote classes after his students were sent home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the bottom of the Twitch stream of the said teacher, the words, “This is an actual college class; be nice,” is written as a slight warning that something different is happening on his stream.
Robert Yang is a game designer as well as an assistant arts professor at the Brooklyn-based NYU Game Center. The said school specialized in teaching students about game design and culture. The school is among the numerous institutions that instructed their students to stay at home and take online classes. This is the reason why Yang figured out a creative way of teaching his students remotely.
Yang has one class where he teaches streaming culture as well as streaming’s impact on games. Like any other course, Yang’s course involved some reading, specifically on the book Watch Me Play, a text authored by T.L. Taylor. However, Yang’s class also included a lot of watching and applying what he has taught, requiring his students to stream themselves once every week.
Students and Teachers Thinking Differently
According to Yang, his students relate their personal experiences to the book once they have applied what he taught. He added that it was a fun academic trick to pick out what seems to be a non-academic topic, unveil its complexity until it becomes fully understood by his students.
The NYC Game Center decided to send their students home and teach them the classes remotely. The decision was abruptly announced, so the professors did not have any preparation as to how they will deliver information to their students. Yang sees the decision as a rush. However, the students of the said school are pretty intertwined with technology, which became their advantage. The students are familiar with many tools that can help them make a sudden transition from school classes to remote classes easily.
Yang Ideas Are Banging
According to Yang, the idea of teaching his stream class via streaming came from one of his students. At first, he thought that the idea was terrible but also noted that terrible purposes can sometimes be educational. For this reason, Yang’s lecture became available on Twitch.
Yang has a pretty decent following on social media. This is why the number of curious viewers on his stream is far more than his actual number of students. The streaming class started out as a healthy stream. Yang tweaked the sound levels depending on the feedback from the chat until the social dynamic started to work.
Like any usual classes, the streamed lecture began with an excellent feature reading by Patricia Hernandez, a reporter. After the first reading, the conference went on for more or less two hours, and Yang was interchangeably discussing streams and other passages.
The class would have been a disaster.
Yang said that from an educational perspective, the idea of streaming a class on Twitch is a disaster. Yang’s course is a reading seminar, with him encouraging his students to share their thoughts with the whole level. However, Twitch is the best tool to have an in-depth discussion.
One problem that the professor found is how to keep the attention of his students. A lot of his students do not pay attention to his lecture. Instead, they are paying more attention to each other and rely on Yang to do a recap about the discussion. Furthermore, he added that Twitch is a broadcast tool that needs a lot of work before becoming more participatory.
According to Yang, the number of viewers on his stream is not really huge. He only saw more or less 50 viewers when he tuned in, so the chat did not get out of hand. For this reason, the professor did not have to spend too much time worrying hat people might become nasty in the chat area, which would cause more inconvenience to the lecture if it occurred.
Also, Yang figured out that his Twitch lecture would be a one-off experiment even before the stream. The students were still positive, and their experience provided some engaging lessons on how one could define what streaming is.
Shifting to another platform
Furthermore, his lecture on Twitch provided Yang an idea of how all universities are turning from school discussions to remote teaching. He added that he and his students will move their conversations to Zoom, a video conference platform with smaller audiences. Still, the format of the discussion will remain similar to what they started on Twitch.
In the coming days and weeks, a lot of instructors will begin teaching their students remotely. As the coronavirus pandemic proliferate. It was evident that being able to talk to students over video is much different from discussing it to students in the same room. For this reason, educators who are affected by the quarantine would probably learn from the rise of streamers.
Moreover, Yang mentioned that he saw a teacher’s guide to using Zoom. The said guide is a well-intentioned and complicated 30 step guide to recording a video lecture via the platform mentioned above. According to Yang, he thought that someone should just tell the professors that they could download OBS and click the Start Recording button. He also said that the 30 step Zoom guide is like a 10-year-old Minecraft streamer having to teach a 50-year-old professor how to do such.