Alabama Teacher Discusses Remote Learning, TutorCam

Alabama Teacher Discusses Remote Learning, TutorCam

by Peter Mitchell

TutorCam recently received some heartwarming feedback from an awe-inspiring 1st Grade teacher in Alabama. Her name is Monica Davis.

Monica recently purchased a TutorCam and wrote to us to praise TutorCam’s customer service angel, Ashley.

“Great experience with customer service agent,” Monica wrote.

We reached out to Monica for a chat.

TutorCams were created by Californian dad Brandon Kennington in March when the pandemic shut his kids’ elementary school. Brandon, who has a mechanical engineering background, knew teachers needed some extra, but inexpensive, tech help to communicate with students during their Google Meet, Zoom etc. remote learning classes.

Monica’s story makes Brandon, Ashley and the rest of the TutorCam crew proud.

Monica, just like other teachers around the world, is overcoming the obstacles of remote learning to ensure her students receive the best education possible in these challenging times. Monica has 42 students in her class and suddenly had to switch from regular face-to-face school lessons to remote learning via Zoom.

Bravo, Monica! Bravo teachers around the globe!

Here’s our conversation with the Marvelous Monica:

 

Q: Hi Monica. Please tell us about yourself.

A: My name is Monica Davis. I have been a teacher since 2008; and I thoroughly enjoy what I do.  

Q: Where are you located? 

A: I am located in Montgomery, Alabama. 

Q: What school/grade/subject do you teach? 

A: I am a self-contained teacher who teaches 1st grade at Crump Elementary School. 

Q: How many students in your class? 

A: I teach 42 virtual students.

Q: Can you describe what it was like suddenly going remote when the pandemic hit? The only way I can describe what it was like to suddenly go remote when the pandemic hit was a stressful transition from traditional to digital.

Q: How immediate was it? 

A: It was an instant transition. My school provided training, but along with everything else a teacher had to do to prepare for students was too much pressure. I believe I had several moments of despair. 

Q: What was it like attempting to continue classes online?

A: It was traumatic for me because parents expected teachers to have everything perfect, all a while we were still learning how to maneuver the digital transition ourselves. I am a 1st grade teacher, so when I started teaching on Zoom, I had to start teaching in front of administrators, parents, and other teachers, but I feel people don't realize it's totally different teaching in front of 1st graders versus teaching in front of parents, your peers, and administrative staff EVERYDAY. I felt like I had to be perfect and I could not fumble or make a mistake without being judged or criticized.

Q: What was the biggest challenge? 

The biggest challenge was not having the tools I needed to teach my learners. It's like we were thrown in the water with a paddle or life jacket. I soon realized I needed a proper headset, document camera, extra laptop, and other tools to effectively deliver my instruction.

Q: How did you hear about TutorCams? 

A: I went searching on the internet for a document camera, but they were really expensive. Then, as I continued looking for better prices, I decided to type into Google (reasonable document cameras) and then voila. I found TutorCams. 

Q: Have you used a TutorCam in class yet? 

A: Yes. I have used TutorCam in my class. It has been a great addition to my tech tools that I use for my instruction. 

Q: In what ways? 

A: It was a wonderful addition to help my students understand and visually see what I was doing on my end that coincided with what they were doing on their end. TutorCam helped my students see my math book to guide them as we did our work together. 

Q: Is there anything else about remote learning, your students or TutorCam you would like to add?

A: Yes, teachers were asked to go virtual without being equipped. We are given funding, but the vendor list is capped, and we only can shop with certain businesses. I spent my own money to get what I needed; and I'm glad TutorCam was a reasonable price. Thank you to the creators of TutorCam and have an A+ Day!

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