With many schools across the country still closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, teachers are having to adapt to online learning. While university professors can expect some degree of professionalism and digital-savviness from their students, teachers in a school setting face a variety of different challenges administering classes over video-chat platforms such as Zoom and Skype.
These can include:
- Technological and communication issues
- Keeping students engaged
- Maintaining discipline
- Providing individual care for students who need extra help
- Administering homework
- Tracking progress
For a teacher that isn’t versed in the methods of online education (after all, a lot of these things might not have been covered in teacher-training college), providing a great online environment that brings the best out of your students can be a huge challenge with a lot of teaching problems. In this article we will outline three ways to make online teaching a success.
Become Digital Savvy with this Online Course
If you are looking to learn new skills in online teaching, we would recommend investing in a course to help you get acquainted with the new normal. Thankfully Fresno University have just the course for you. Their FPU online teaching certificate offers a variety of courses, including:
- Creating a Classroom Website
- Using Google Drive
- Virtual Labs and Field Trips
- Collaboration and Problem Solving Apps
With a structured program that goes deep into the issues inherent in online learning as well as the solutions to tackle them, they will be able to convert you to a great online teacher.
Nail the Technology
You may be a wizard at videoconferencing — which has exploded in popularity since March — or you may be completely new to discussing algebra problems with 20 faces bobbing up and down on a screen. The best thing that you can do to make an online classroom a success is to completely familiarize yourself with the software. Do a few practice runs before the class starts so that if there are any problems you can swiftly take command of the situation and project authority no matter what happens.
Schedule One-on-One Conversations
For students who need that little bit more help, the pivot to online learning could see them slip through the cracks. If you feel that any student is struggling or doesn’t feel confident speaking up in class, you can always get in contact with them and schedule a one-on-one conversation to work through their issues. This is just the same as getting a student to stay behind after class, only in this case, you’re just talking to them from the comfort of your home.
Utilize Project Management Software for Homework
Students won’t be able to hand physical homework onto your desk for a long while to come. There is also the fear that, if students do turn off their computer speakers, they simply won’t know that there is any homework due. That’s why we would recommend using online software that can assign tasks to different students, allow them to submit to a single source, and also allow you to write detailed notes and feedback on their work.