Directed Learning With One Screen
"What do I do?", my student asked for the eighth time that session. I reminded them that I needed more information to help them. "What was the last thing you did?", I asked and they replied with a description of the last step they had completed before falling behind. Was I moving too fast? Was there a language barrier in play here? I was teaching Scratch to five students but I had been given a challenge. The course was titled Scratch 2, a second session for students who had completed the first course, however I found myself with two beginners. This was our fourth session and I was struggling with engaging both sets of students. My experienced students were interrupting and acting out out of boredom. As this was a paid course I wanted to give the level two students the experience and information I had taught past classes but I had to slow my pace to explain everything to beginner level.
"What do I do?", they asked again. I saw the color of their screen change by the reflection on their face. Was that an alt+tab? I realized that they may not be able to see me demonstrate. "Are you looking at my screen?", I asked. I watched the screen reflection change color again as they navigated back to our zoom window. I had thrown this student into the thick of building a Lander styled game. My walkthrough of the interface had been brief. It made sense now. If the student couldn't see me demo they wouldn't know that the block I was moving was a purple one from the looks tab. They didn't know the colour difference between a move block and an event block. Other students had had access to two screens. One to work, and one to watch me with. This student must have a small laptop to work with. I showed the student where I had pulled the blocks I was working with from. This student was basically following along with audio only. I realized I had to be more descriptive with my language and not rely on visual aids. With this realization I was able to better lead this student move forward with my planned material. I had to halt less and could better engage both levels of understanding. This accommodation allowed me to help my beginning students catch up to the class level, boosting their potential.