I only learnt about the idea of WhatsApp live lessons a couple of weeks ago when I saw Nicky Hockly talking about them at the IH London Future of Training conference. Today I was lucky enough to be a participant in one. These are my initial impressions:
- It reminds me of being in a Twitter (#elt)chat to some extent – things coming thick and fast and having to scroll up and down sometimes to work out what you’ve missed, though it was much more signposted and scaffolded than Twitter chats I’ve been in.
- Icons given by the teacher really help you to work out what’s going on, but I couldn’t always find the icons I needed to post quickly enough as a student!
- The combination of voice notes and text worked well – there was clear teacher presence and involvement, but the text was there to refer back to if I needed to.
- Voice notes from the teacher responding to our answers, showing interest, and using our names made me feel involved and engaged in the lesson and helped to summarise what other students had said.
- Sharing photos and voice notes with the other students was a fun way to get to know each other.
- Group work/dividing the group is possible when the set-up is clear, and helps the chat to be less chaotic.
- It was quite tiring – we had 30 minutes, and I’m not sure I could deal with much more than 45 minutes!
Thank you to Carol for running the lesson!