Madonna sang “We are living in a material world and I am a material girl.” That song, or rather, the melody keeps spinning in my head.
I’m living in a virtual world and I’m gonna be a virtual girl–or author. Or both. That’s my song this year, and no doubt, the start of another school year will come with it’s challenges. For me, I suspect it will be off to a slower start than normal, as teachers navigate their new classroom modalities. All virtual. Part virtual. In person. The possibilities are enough to drive a teacher or parent batty.
So needless to say, this year will be the first time I’m offering virtual zoom visits. Like many others living through this crazy pandemic, I’ve learned to master (really?)–or at least, find my way around zoom. Really, if it weren’t for that, Skype and Facetime, our isolation may have been intolerable, if not certainly more challenging. Being available only on-screen is a bit scary. What if the technology doesn’t work? If the connection is bad? I can’t share the screen properly? As a worrier, all of these thoughts run through my mind. In person, there was far less to be concerned about. Sure, an old computer would make uploads extraordinarily slow. Sometimes slides would drop out inexplicably. But in person, there is always the ability to talk your way through a presentation as you are yes, in person. Zoom is a dog and pony show. The buttons and links need to work otherwise all is lost.
But on the positive side, the reach on zoom is infinite. The thought of visiting with students on the other side of the country is mind-blowing. Something that budgets and time wouldn’t have allowed for in the past. So out of every dark cloud comes its silver lining. And I want to wish all of the teachers and parents a better-than-expected school year. May the force and the computer be with each and every one of you.