Virtual World Day Two

By // March 17, 2020

There are some good things about this strange moment. Huge thanks to Ashley and her husband, Jacob, for coming in and giving a much-needed deep clean to our supply closet!

If it didn’t come through yesterday, here’s the plan:

Following the directive from the governor, all school buildings will be closed until April 7. Our facility at LightHouse is closed, but we are open. All classes that can be online, will be. Advisors will be in touch directly with students every day, and send updates to parents as well. Please be in touch anytime with questions.

You can see the calendar of classes here. Students are invited to join these classes even if they were not previously enrolled, and they should talk to their advisors about this option.

Online classes started today! Please be in touch if you’d like to be added to any, at any time. It’s ok to start now, or soon… It won’t be too late.
We’re in the process of scheduling tutorials on a variety of subjects. Talk to your advisor!
Please let us know if you need a computer at home, or anything else. Holyoke Public Schools is giving free lunch and breakfast to any Holyoke residents. Five sites will be open each day M-F from 8:30am to 12:30pm.  Students can come and receive breakfast & lunch. Sites: HHS North; Kelly school; Donahue school; Sullivan school; Lawrence school. 

Following are some tips as we learn to engage on these new platforms, borrowed from blogger Seth Godin:

  Zoom & Skype call tips (the secrets of video conferences)

If you’ve ever joined more than three people on a Skype or Zoom conference call, I hope you’ll appreciate these tips, and perhaps share them:

* Sit close to the screen. Your face should fill most of it.

* Use an external microphone or headset.

* When you’re not talking, hit mute.

* Don’t eat during the meeting.

* When you’re on mute during an audio call, you can do whatever you want. But when you’re on mute on a video call, you need to act like you’re truly engaged. Nod your head. Focus on the screen. Don’t get up and feed your dog.

* Don’t sit with the window behind you. A little effort on lighting goes a very long way.

* When you’re talking, spend some time looking at the camera, not the screen. You’ll appear more earnest and honest this way.

* When you’re talking, go slow. No one is going to steal your slot.

* Don’t walk if you’re using a phone. And if you’re using a laptop, don’t put it on your lap.

These are obvious. They are generous. They’re effective.
And almost no one puts in the effort to consistently deliver on them. It’s worth it.

We’re in this together. Please be in touch.
Catherine

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