New Online Class Sessions: The Teach High Touch with High Tech Adventure Continues

Tempe, AZ There are a lot of people stopping by here on a regular basis who are interested in learning to weave Navajo style.  Back in December, one of the more avid students and I engaged in some conjecture about whether it would be effective to do an online class, and we came to the conclusion that it was worth a try and would effectively help to use up any spare time that I was contemplating having.  I bought a subscription to WebEx, a new version of Adobe Acrobat and a really swell rolling computer stand.   I developed a syllabus that was roughly similar to what we do in a week in Window Rock and put the class on the site one Saturday morning at 8 AM.  I took off for the Fiber Factory to teach a class for them and by noon, the online class was full and I had an a lot of email from other prospective students who wanted to give the virtual class a try.    I was totally unprepared for that level of interest, but it was certainly better than getting a cosmic shrug!

The eight intrepid students, my writing partner Liz Munk and I started the class on January 31.  We originally planned five sessions, but we weren’t really tied to a particular timetable.  I tried to use streaming video to demonstrate the weaving and we quickly found that we had real problems with screen freezing assaults on bandwidth.  We also had to work through some severe audio feedback issues and I was really unsure that the format was one that would allow the students to learn effectively.   Still, the students were positively encouraging and we started working on some changes in the format that allowed students to access the video on demand and evolved a session agenda that blends a discussion and slide show of the technique being covered that week, a review of each student’s progress and work on solving problems and answering questions.

At the end of our session, everyone agreed that the class had helped them to succeed and progress on some level and so I’m pleased to announce a new session of the class as well as a private class option for those who can’t make the meeting time or who would prefer one on one attention.  The multi-student class will begin on May 16th with follow-on sessions on May 23, May 30, June 6 and June 20.   The two week gap will hopefully allow students enough time to get to the finishing point in their projects.  Students should expect to spend 1 1/2 to 2 hours in each session.  To limit issues with bandwidth, we’ll meet in two groups.  The early group will meet at 2:00 PM EDT, 1:00 PM CDT, 12:00 PM MDT, 11:00 AM PDT.  A second group will meet at 4:30 PM EDT, 3:30 PM CDT, 2:30 PM MDT and 1:30 PM PDT.  Each group will be limited to four people.   Students need to have access to a computer with a web cam, microphone and a high speed Internet connection.   The charge for the class is $75 and includes access to online materials and a private page on my web site for the duration of the class so that it’s easy to post pictures and communicate with me or other classmates.   You can register for the early class time  here and for the later time here (update: the later session is full).

The private class tuition is $125 and scheduling is subject to my textile conservation business requirements and other class commitments.   Got a friend who wants to learn with you?  You can register for a two student session at $100 each.   You should expect to spend two hours in the first session and one hour to 90 minutes in the following sessions.  Private students must complete their session within eight weeks unless my schedule does not permit it.  My generally available hours are 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM MST on weekdays, and 7:oo PM to 9:00 PM MST on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Saturday and Sunday scheduling is possible depending on other commitments that I have.  If you’re interested in doing this, please contact me before you register so that we’re sure that the scheduling will work.   If you can’t get in touch with me prior to registering, I’ll immediately refund your tuition if we can’t find a mutually agreeable time to meet.     I’m going to limit private student enrollment to four students or teams right now, with potential class sessions starting on May 11.  You can register here for a singe private student slot and here for a two student session.  If you want to participate in a two student session, it’s your responsibility to find and coordinate with the second student.  The course is geared toward five fingered carbon based life forms who live in the Cygnus Arm of this galaxy, but as long as your fellow student can meet the computer requirements, you’ll find I’m pretty flexible.

Please comment or contact me if you have questions!

Hagoshíí (so long for now)

Mary Walker

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