I've come down with a cold, which is annoying. Normally I would just make soup and carry on, but it's autumn, I teach at a large university, and H1N1 paranoia is in the air.
So I've been instructed not to teach in person until my cold is gone.
This feels like overkill, but precautions are more or less overkill by definition, so I'll be holding class online through UCB's online course software tomorrow.
I must admit that, much as I value the face-to-face communality of a class, I'm pretty interested in how an online class will go. Perhaps my less talkative students will pipe up more, for instance. Some of my favorite teaching tricks -- moving around the room, using humor to correct a wrong assumption -- won't be available to me. But on the other hand, an archive of the entire discussion will be stored on the course web site.
I'm also curious as to how my students will choose to communicate. Will they use complete sentences, standard punctuation, and a more formal register than they use in everyday speech? Or will the medium of the chat room prompt lolz and wtfs?
My box of Kleenex and I will soon find out.