Can High Tech Teach High Touch: Notes from an Online Weaving Class


Screenshot of the virtual classroom.

Tempe, AZ We held our first online class session in beginning Navajo weaving techniques  yesterday using WebEx’s Meeting Connection service (that’ll teach them to sell me something with unlimited minutes).   You can see the virtual class space in the picture above but it’s a screen shot of a test meeting to protect the privacy of the current students.  We found that the resolution of streaming video isn’t quite at a level that will let you see some of the finer moves that are involved in warping, but in combination with pictures, handouts and encouragement from others in the class,  we were able to create what seems to be a workable learning environment.   We’re troubleshooting an audio problem (a wicked echo) that seems to be related to speakerphones and possibly to the fact that there’s a microphone in my webcam (Who knew?  Certainly not me!)   WebEx has been great about addressing issues as we’ve brought them up and our next session is scheduled for this coming Sunday, February 7.  If you’ve written me about getting involved with a second session, I’ve got your note and I’ll be announcing dates as soon as I’m comfortable that this is a viable learning environment.  I’m almost, but not quite, there.

As one of the class members has noted, this may open up many opportunities for Navajo weavers to show their work and teach over the Internet.  And to find out about the microphone in their webcam…..

Hagoshíí (so long for now)


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  1. Joan on April 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I’m interested in your online weaving class. I would love to ATTEND a class locally here in Tucson, AZ. Do you still have openings?


  2. Mary Walker on February 6, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I do need to learn to read that calendar, don’t I? I made the change to the article. Thanks for noticing the problem!

  3. Sam Hufman on February 5, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Mary, have you not changed your calendar this year? Sunday is the 7th of Feb., not the 6th. You seem to have a block about the dates for this class. Aside from the date thing, I think the class is going well, and I am certainly enjoying the effort.