I have defined some of the words (underlined) in the blog post, which you can add to your Personal Dictionary. Click on the Excel icon to download the word list to your PC or mobile device, which you can thereafter import into your Personal Dictionary. They are also listed below.
Scroll down to the bottom for links to a crossword and word search using words from this post.

Household name – A well-known or notable person

Novelty – Originality by virtue of being new and surprising

Pandemic – Epidemic over a wide geographical area

Dramatic – Sensational in effect

Cumbersome – Difficult to handle or use

Outweigh – Heavier than; one thing exceeds another

Perspective – The appearance of things relative to one another

Interject – Say something abruptly, especially as an interruption

Theoretically – According to the assumed facts

Traffic jams – Lines of stationary or very slow-moving traffic

Restrictions – The limitation or control of someone or something

Adapt – Conform oneself to new or different conditions

Refine – Make more precise

I can still remember the day when the first lockdown, in March 2020, was announced. It was a Monday evening, and I was due to travel to four different companies the following day, as I usually would on Tuesdays. However, that was not possible as we all had to stay at home. What now? Panic!

Fortunately, my clients were more tuned in than I was, and within a matter of minutes, all appointments had been arranged using different video conferencing software, two of which, I had never even heard of! Within weeks, Zoom, Teams and WebEx had become household names, for nearly all of us.

At first, it was a novelty, we’d all be back at our workplaces within a few weeks, but then…

… we continued to talk about the pandemic. Would we ever be back in our offices for lessons? Would we ever see each other again? Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, however, over 2 years later, I still haven’t seen the vast majority of my clients. We see each other on a screen now of course, but only in 2D. That is until one of the clever tech companies invents new computer screens that enables us to see each other in 3D! Then again, we’d probably have to wear those cumbersome glasses, we need at the cinema, so perhaps not.

The question is: do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? The answer no doubt differs from the perspective of teacher and student. For me, I think some things have improved. I can send corrections to individual students, without having to interject into the conversation, particularly if it’s a group lesson. The verbal exchange is also quite natural, and tools, such as a virtual whiteboard and desktop share, replace real whiteboards, flipcharts and projectors in the conference and meeting rooms.

On the negative side, it’s often difficult to see non-verbal communication methods, such as body language, and the internet connection, or software occasionally ‘plays up’. Because, I don’t have to travel from company to company, I can theoretically work more hours, but on the other hand, I miss the chance meetings with my students, before the lessons. However, I don’t miss getting caught in traffic jams or waiting on train and tram platforms.

Thankfully, I’ve had new companies start during the pandemic time, some of which will always be online, due to the fact that they are in other towns and cities in Germany, even in other countries. Hello to my students in France, Spain, Poland and Romania, if you are reading this.

I look forward to going back to companies as the restrictions ease, but online teaching will naturally continue to be a part of my working day. For teachers and students alike, we will continue to adapt and refine the way we teach and learn online. I’m very much looking forward to the developments.

Let me know your opinion of video learning in the comments below.  



To test your knowledge, why not do a crossword puzzle, using words from this text?

Click here for instructions on how to play.

To test your knowledge, why not do a word search puzzle, using words from this text?

Click here for instructions on how to play.

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