I have the incredible good fortune to watch a French teacher work over the next month. She's taken on the responsibility for a Grade 10 French summer course for students. The challenge is that she is teaching it online to students here in Canada and overseas, specifically China and Pakistan. They are all existing students in our school that are trying to get ahead in our French program -- that's important because they are already familiar with the technology commonly used in our school. While many school leverage the learning management system, the OneNote Binder has given her a way to not only structure her content but closely observe and provide feedback on every student's work from minute to minute.
Lync also has a built in recorder. When the teacher starts her daily session, she can click on the record button and a video is made of all the interactions online; who said what, who typed what and what was shared across the computers. Beyond just the security issue (because that always lies in the background administratively) the pedagogical opportunities are considerable. Students can go back and review the class; the teacher can reflect on how she dealt with questions, what should and shouldn't have been shown, how the sharing process can be made better. (It's a great precursor for our video-enabled classroom, where "regular" classroom teaching will go under the same observational process for teacher reflection.)
As I said, I'm very fortunate to be involved -- the teacher is remarkably well prepared. Her OneNote Binders are constructed in such a way to make it easy for a student that is not physically present to understand how to work through and she has nicely balanced text, images, audio & video. Her online sessions recognize the need for ever-changing focus to keep participants active and she continually adapts to the students and also the occasional technological challenge that inevitably arises.
*Yes, I am kicking myself that I did not go through with a research study on this; she's absolutely fascinating to watch. But the UofT process is just so onerous I'll wait until I'm out from under their Byzantine thumb.