Teams backgrounds – not a fan

Microsoft Teams has several useful functions, and I enjoy using the platform for my online classes. As already mentioned several times in other post, my absolute favorite is the possibility to share – almost anything – with my course participants.

But then there is the so-called background effect. In the beginning, when we ‘teamed up’ online, I found this function useful as well, even funny at times, when people became creative with their own background images (one of them created a background that made him look like he was sitting in a Star Wars spaceship – spectacular!).

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Share where you live

One great benefit of online teaching is the ability to share the internet. I have used this a lot. We played online escape rooms together, shared and discussed articles, images and charts, Ted talks, you tube videos etc.

In one session, using google maps, we went to our respective homes. We went to Spanish villages, home towns in Germany or the US; in one session we looked at the respective places people live at currently in Hannover. We ‘showed’ a new employee around the city, introduced her to places to see, or things to do. It was quite enjoyable and sometimes also fairly personal when we shared background stories of where our families live or lived, why some of us wanted to move or were not happy with where they lived.

Looking around via street view offers a special experience, an experience that can be supplemented by a few rounds of Geoguessr.

The Pandemic: Before, during and after (are we there yet?) Some thoughts and links

It was and is interesting to observe how focusses have changed and concerns shifted over the last 18 months. From the beginnings of the crisis (that I documented on extensively), over the long phases of lockdown – settling into things, kind of – to now: a time of discussions on future work models, so-called ‘New Normals’, frustrated managers, new concepts of leadership, jobs quit, and life models reconsidered, to mention just a few.

Below I will post those links that I have shared most the last weeks and months.

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Useful Lesson Links 2.0

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A new year, a new list.

I would like to take the opportunity here and thank all English class participants who were willing to embark on our online experiment. Thanks for your patience and for staying with us. It was not always easy, especially at the beginning, but I believe we learned a lot and together. I must admit, I would probably have never done this voluntarily and alone. But now I am glad we did. There are some possibilities we have online that we didn’t have in our classrooms. Though many of you miss personal contact, seeing each other on our screens is the next best thing. I hope we continue having satisfactory meetings together.

I will continue placing links here for easier planning and access.

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