Guest Article by Mark Polishook
This essay is about my experience teaching piano and jazz improvisation to adult students on Skype. Right now Skype is a standard technology for online instrumental instruction. But there are alternatives, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Oovoo among them.
We call the medium Skype. We say we’re Skyping. But, really, it’s consumer-level video conferencing.
Marshall McLuan some years ago offered the medium as answer to what’s the message?
My question now:
How does video conferencing shape teaching and learning?
Three immediate answers on the positive side:
- It moves teaching from the local to global.
- It enlarges the pool of teachers from which students can select
- More stylistic diversity and specialities come from a larger, global teaching pool.
Are there downsides?