As the world is quickly adapting to the unfortunate event of the outbreak of the COVID-19, most universities, schools and educational institutions have suspended regular classrooms. To ensure that student's ongoing year is not hampered, faculty and staff from around the world now are rapidly transitioning to online learning classrooms.
As most schools try to move their educational content, resources and courses online, there is a big chance of errors that might happen or barriers which teachers might face while conducting online classes. Most common issues that might arise in today's scenarios include teachers learning curve of e-classrooms, burdened technological infrastructure, the complexity of learning tools and student's fear and disorientation.
But there is always a positive side to every story. Keeping an open mind to the new online learning scenarios can improve your adaptability in acquiring new skills. And although offline to online transition is not that hard with right tools and training, serving your students in these difficult times can surely bolster your, as well as the reputation of your institution.
So we've got a few tips to help you get through this transition phase and set up your online classroom seamlessly.
TIP 1: BEING A LEARNER
Online teaching domain might be completely new territory for you. You have always been an expert for your subject but in this case, you aren’t. Most of the students who would participate in your classroom would also undergo a similar experience for the first time. So it would be helpful to inform them that you are learning along with them. It is completely okay to not have all the answers but keeping an open mindset. If you have any doubts regarding setting up the classroom, conducting sessions, accessing online resources etc., you can simply Google search, ask your colleagues, check in with an IT friend. You could even ask for assistance from your students if you make it clear that a great online learning session can also be a group collaboration project.
TIP 2: USING ED-TECH TOOLS AS MEANS TO END
Technology has already been evolving in the past decade and has significantly impacted the education industry too. But technology should not be confused with teaching. Education tools are merely to facilitate effective and engaging teaching concepts. They can enhance learning among students by providing them with key learning points that might not be achieved in conventional teaching methods. Edmodo Classroom , for example, can help you with your daily lesson preparation for online classrooms. It can provide pre-created templates, various subject tools and abundant 3D resources to ensure that the learning curve for students is evolving. To conduct these classes online, you can bring your students to ZOOM which allows you to create webinars, meetings and conference like sessions. In short, if you are new to online teaching, you can learn new tools and platforms for maximum engagement.
TIP 3: BE PROACTIVE FOR OBSTACLES
Whenever you are experimenting with new tools and technology, it would be smart to prepare for the abrupt hindrances that might arise in the process. Although most of the technology is simple to use, with a minimum learning curve, you can consult the IT department of your school to list a few issues that might arise in this process. You should also focus on creating healthy communication among student community to ask and clear doubts if they have any.
TIP 4: TEST YOUR TECHNOLOGY AND CONTENT EARLY
It is highly advisable to plan in advance and avoid waiting for the last moment. Before every class, you should spend at least 24-48 hours to prepare for the specific subject content and technology used for the delivery. This can prepare you for any shortcomings, issues, and key learning points and handling of the tools to be used in the online classroom.
TIP 5: PROMOTE ENGAGEMENT
One thing that you might find missing in your initial 'online' classrooms is the level of engagement, personalization and participation among the students. So, to ensure that students take these sessions seriously, you should ensure that maximum engagement is created among students. Avoid the trap of choosing 'coverage' over engagement.
TIP 6: ENCOURAGE FEEDBACK
Measuring the effectiveness of your tutoring lesson is extremely critical as it can help measure your success in delivering knowledge. You can make timely adjustments to your teaching mode and this can benefit the students in the long run. You should survey your students on their experience, knowledge retention and feedback for any necessary changes. Because any technology in the education industry serves educators and learners, it is important that two-way dialogue is encouraged.
So we are hopeful you can make you of the above skills in transforming your online classroom experience in these testing times, but you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself to male mistakes. Experiment. And have fun. You need to remember that you aren't alone. Millions of teachers and students are trying to move to online learning, and adjusting as they go forward.