Charlotte Meijer studies Education and Innovation (master’s degree) at VU Amsterdam and is also a student assistant at the VU Education Lab. In this role she supports teachers at VU in preparing their education, and in this day and age this is desperately needed! Charlotte helps teachers with questions they have about Canvas, Zoom or other online tools offered by VU.

She gives a lot of one-on-one support to teachers and helps them understand the programmes. She also demonstrates all the possibilities of the ICT tools.

“Teachers can come up with all kinds of questions, some are very specific like: “Where do I have to click to get to so and so? Other questions are very general like ‘What is Zoom?’ or ‘I don’t understand the Canvas page’. Sometimes I study the programme with them. I ask them to share their screen so that I can watch and then we click around a bit, I show them what’s possible and explain various functions”. What Charlotte hears a lot is that the teachers are very positive about her help and very grateful for the time she puts in.

If you ask her what the best moment was lately, it was helping a BKO teacher who was very grateful and still sends her occasional emails with a question here and there. Charlotte is also studying Education and Innovation at VU in addition to her side job as a student assistant. “It’s a very good combination. Because of my studies, I mainly know what is good for students to learn, but I don’t really know how to apply it. I learn this at the VU Education Lab. I am very happy with the experience I get here!”

Because of the Corona measures, Charlotte also works from home. When asked whether she is ready for hobbies or other things, she shakes her head. “I’m very busy right now, but I really like what I’m doing, so that’s not so bad.” What she notices is that a lot of life can be experienced online – even if it’s not a substitute for physical life, it’s certainly complementary.

Charlotte would like teachers to keep working with the digital and online tools. She encourages instructors to go out and do some research themselves and become more familiar with the online landscape. She also wants them to understand that using breakout rooms during online lectures is essential: students need interaction and variety, and it also stimulates motivation. When asked what she is looking forward to when the campus doors open again, she answers: “To see everyone again! Having a joint team meeting, working together, talking to each other and helping each other out. The latter is now less flexible and spontaneous. I miss that.”