Why online classes?
In February 2018, I offered my first online class Homegrown Trajans, taking these famous, monumental Roman capitals as my topic. It turned out to be a pivotal moment in my career, to say the least, and I have to thank Harvest Crittenden of Acorn Arts for it. She had been teaching online classes for a number of years already and, apart from sharing her vast expertise and guiding me through the whole enterprise, she offered to deal with the technical side of things: registration, setting up passwords, creating a forum, providing technical support, etc.
Not having to worry about that aspect, I could totally concentrate on the content of the class, which I did with fervor and pleasure. I spent about three, four intense months planning, filming, editing and working on the handouts, for it's the sort of project that can keep me going on forever. If, on many occasions, I felt I had overplayed my hand in taking on this project, once we went online, the genuine appreciation and enthusiastic response of my many students made me soon forget about the hardships I had endured.
We ran the Trajan course a second time at the end of 2018 and again we could witness how this online format is a wonderful way of reaching out to students worldwide. At first, I had my reservations about the online format, believing that nothing trumps the physical nearness of the teacher, but I'm a convert now and a zealous prophet of e-learning.
The advantages of online learning are manifold. Students can view (and review) the videos at any time of the day or night and work whenever it suits them, and this from their comfortable chair at home (no packing, no stress of traveling, no hotel costs) . They not only learn from the teacher but also from each other, more than they would do in a live class, for they have access to a virtual classroom where they can see all the homework their fellow students post and the teacher's critique on it. Moreover, it's not like they feel all alone and left out in their little corner of the world; as they're part of a worldwide community that studies the very same thing, they can and do interact with each other, encouraging and helping each other out. And all this time, they have their teacher at their side, a personal trainer so to speak, who's looking over their shoulder, explaining and showing in detail how to make progress.
Not computer savvy enough to take an online class? Really, you'd be surprised how simple it is, and if you do run into trouble, Harvest is there to solve it for you - we never let anyone down. You only need to have a computer, laptop or iPad, and a device to take pictures with (smartphone, iPad or digital camera).
Do have a look at the other pages in this section where I explain more fully what these classes are about. If you like what you see and you want to be reminded when you can register for one of these classes, you can sign up to my Newsletter or send me a simple email.