When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When the student is really ready, the teacher will disappear. (Lao Tzu)
Only an ancient proverb could describe the delightfully surprising experience of our recent Spanish Q&A session for Home Connect learners. The live Zoom group call was open to both past and present Spanish-speaking learners and was hosted by me and bilingual digital coach Jannell Mateo Rivas.
Without in-person group classes, these Q&A sessions provide a virtual setting for learners to meet each other and socialize. The session started with everyone introducing themselves — with one learner, Alfonso, insisting that the ladies go before him.
When preparing the session, I had thought about some basic material that might be helpful to review — things like Zoom features, downloading new apps, sharing photos. It caught Jannell and me off guard when the first learner asked about PDFs. The learner had all sorts of questions about what they were, how they work, and even how to create and share PDFs herself. After walking through the ins and outs, I expected the next question to be a bit less advanced. Once again, I was surprised — the learners asked how to download Excel spreadsheets and write formulas!
By the third question, it was clear that these learners had advanced their skills beyond what I had planned for. I had to completely throw out the answer sheet I had previously prepared! For the remainder of the session, we discussed Adobe Acrobat Reader, Google Docs, and Google Translate. I also demonstrated how to use Safe and Airplane Mode and how to close out apps.
We are excited to see that our learners have continued their digital education and explored new possibilities for their devices. Our Home Connect program aims to equip its participants with the tools to feel comfortable online. Not only did these learners seem comfortable, but they were also curious and confident. Now when preparing for the next session, I’ll have my work cut out for me!