Zoom & Virtual Learning- The Importance of Staying Creative & Connected
Has it been challenging for you to live stress free these days? There are so many distractions and feelings of overwhelm and uncertainty. Are you able to stay connected with people while maintaining social distancing? How are you remaining positive and staying creative during this pandemic?
I have been teaching in person for 25 years and online for 6. When the pandemic hit, I was already in position to work with people from a distance. I wasn’t prepared for the lack of in-person contact. My UFL course has gone completely online. As much as I love teaching this class, I miss the faces and interactions with the students. I was scheduled to teach a few workshops around the country which unfortunately were canceled.
Suddenly, amidst cancelations and disappointments I began getting calls and requests for Zoom workshops. Creating videos is not new to me, but I am new to on camera presentations. I was a bit hesitant, but decided to give it a go. Doing a 2 day Beetle & Butterfly Workshop for the Carolina Guild of Natural Science Illustrators it was my first time doing a Zoom Live and it was AWESOME! My studio is small and I have all the equipment I need to go live. I even have a chair on wheels that allows me to scoot from my computer where I give slide lectures to my drawing table where I do live demonstrations. We had 19 people in the conference and it was gratifying to see all the faces and share my love of bugs! The workshop was so successful that we are doing another one in December and more to come in 2021. Zoom workshops are a safe and fun way to stay connected with like-minded people, learn, share and be creative!
I also had a wonderful opportunity to be a “Mystery” guest for a young scientist, Alan Ivory, who is working with virtual learning to bring science to children at home. Each week he provides a topic for exploration and gives lessons and activities for the students to participate in. The purpose of my participation was to have them guess what I do for a living. It was fun and I was able to do a small presentation and answer questions about scientific illustration. Here is the video. I hope you enjoy it and will check out his Youtube channel. He has a lot of fun videos. His enthusiasm is contagious!
I hope you are all doing well and keeping safe. Please drop me a note or leave a comment on how you are doing. I would love to hear from you. I am planning more Zoom workshops and short classes for 2021 and I will take requests. What would you like to learn?