Sunday, November 15, 2020

How teaching with Zoom is like "The Hollywood Squares"

If you grew up in the 70s and spent a sick day at home from school watching TV, then you must remember "The Hollywood Squares" (along with "Let's Make a Deal," "Green Acres," "Petticoat Junction," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "Lost in Space," and many others . . . especially if you grew-up in the NJ-NY-CT tri-state area). Now that the semester is almost over (at least for me) and the final classes have a more relaxed vibe, I've only now made the connection between Zoom and "The Hollywood Squares" (no doubt other children of the 70s made this connection way before me). It's more evident if, like me, your Zooming with a desktop dual monitor set-up where you put your slides and screen-shares on one monitor and all your thumbnails of students on the other. 

Zoom as Hollywood Squares-2

In keeping with the more relaxed tone of class last week, I deftly slipped into vintage game show mode by calling on students thusly:

"Let's go with Brittany [Rose Marie] for the win!" 

"How about Sam [Charley Weaver] for the block!"

"This time I'd like to go with Christine [Paul Lynde], please."

 ". . . . And it's the Secret Square!"

Of course, I got blank stares from all my students and therefore had to explain what "The Hollywood Squares" is/was before sending them off to YouTube to check it out for themselves. Though I don't think my students got the humor, they seemed to enjoy how much fun I was having playing Peter Marshall in class. 


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