Friday, July 26, 2013

How I Delved Into Online Teaching

By Becky Clark


I was flattered to be asked to teach my time management class ‘The Faster I Go, The Behinder I Get" for the very techie, very cool Delve Writing. They just launched a month or so ago, but they’ve already given their members a couple dozen educational classes and interviews, many of which are FREE for anyone to view.

Delve Writing is an online community to support writers throughout their journey. They have different levels of access, starting at just $10/month. I don’t have any stake in this business, but I can absolutely vouch for the integrity, diligence and enthusiasm of the people who run it, all of whom I count as friends.

But enough about them. Let’s talk about me.

Despite the fact I blog, have websites and publish books electronically, I’m kind of a Luddite. Techie stuff tends to intimidate me. So when Aaron Brown and Chris Mandeville asked me to teach this class, I was, how you say, bumfuzzled. Seriously? Teach an online class? Make a podcast? Um, no.

I’m so glad they wore me down!

It was a terrific experience. Aaron held my hand, walking me through the technology, telling me which button to push — many, many times. (Apparently I’m not so good at the “remembering.”) But he was kind and gentle, always going off-mic to laugh at me.

We had a training session. And then another. And then one more, at my nervous request. Sure, stand me up in front of 400 people, no problem. But make me sit still in front of my computer for an hour? Ay caramba.

At any rate, the big day finally came and I got ready. I banished my husband from the house, I remembered to turn off the ringer on the phone, I shut down my ice maker, and I put on Real Clothes. Well, mostly. Because of the format, I was able to go with Chris’ recommended clothing mullet — business upstairs and party in the basement.

I set up shop at my dining room table in the most ridiculous set-up EVER… 

You’ll see my Purple Professional Podcast footstool holding my computer which had to be about halfway closed so the camera hit me at, ahem, a flattering angle and didn’t broadcast my wine glasses and deviled egg tray in the hutch behind me… two fat Harry Potter books… holding my notes cleverly printed on the top of the page so I didn’t have to look so far down while on camera (even though I did. A lot.)… scattered bunches of print-outs for various contingencies. And my iced tea (swear!) on my orange Splat Stan coaster.


Pay no attention to that girl behind the curtain because this is how it looks for broadcast…
  

This is just very, very slick technology. Because I needed a couple of slides for the presentation, Aaron plopped them into an easy format to click through, which he did at the appropriate time. My job was to sit still up in my little box in the corner while talking. Throughout the class, the attendees interacted via the chat box you see there. But they didn’t have to. They could sit quietly sipping wine at their computer at home. They could cook dinner while watching/listening. They could comfort a screaming baby. And their clothing mullet could be party in the basement AND upstairs.

You can see in the screen shot that Aaron kindly included the various links to All Things Becky in the chat box, but more importantly, he kept tabs on the chat for me. Not only would it have been impossible to read the scroll while I was presenting, my computer was far enough away (flattering angle, remember?) that I couldn’t possibly read it, even though he showed me how to increase the text size on my screen. I think I had it set at 525 point. During the class the attendees were able to ask their questions and share their ideas, which Aaron passed along to me verbally.

Everything about it was awesome.

If you’re a writer — especially if you’re in an area where it’s difficult to find a good writing community, or that you can’t get to easily — I wholeheartedly recommend what Delve has to offer.

If you’re a speaker, I highly recommend offering your expertise to them. Not only will you gain experience speaking in a new medium, you’ll increase your reach and sell some books.

And if you want to sample the technology — for FREE — and/or get some time management tips and/or see if I was able to sit still for an hour, Delve Writing has graciously allowed me to post the secret link for you. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep the link live (after all, people actually pay me to teach this class!) so if you’re the least bit curious, clickedy-click thelink …. HERE … soon.

You don’t have to watch the entire hour (although I simply can’t imagine why you wouldn’t) and you can’t join in the chat — because it’s not live anymore — but you can see what they were chatting about during the class. FYI, when Aaron pops the timer over my face for the 4 or 5 minute exercises, on the recording it says “15 minutes.” But it’s not; it really is only the 4 or 5. If you’re not doing the exercises, you can slide the bar at the bottom ahead to where the clock comes down.


What are you waiting for? Put on the mullet of your choice, go sit in front of your deviled egg tray and give it a look-see. Let me know what you think!

(Originally posted at Becky Clark Books July 12, 2013.)

About the Writer:  Becky Clark is a popular blogger, entrepreneur, speaker, and author of wildly divergent books — for example, An UnCivil War – The Boys Who Were Left Behind (middle-grade historical fiction);Reading Maniac — Fun Ways To Encourage Reading Success (a guide for parents of reluctant readers); and The Lazy Low Cal Lifestyle Cookbook. Her BeckyLand blog can be found at www.beckyland.wordpress.com and her healthy living website/blog is www.LazyLowCalLifestyle.com. She is a highly functioning chocoholic.