Being flexible is definitely an important part to being an online teacher. It’s takes the persisence to continue to try new things and adapt to new learning styles and technologies. Part of being an online teacher is learning from your students as much as they learn from you. Inspiring students and allowing them to direction part of their learning that is important. I actually started writing this blog last Friday at the races while we were on rain delay which made me think how the races and online learning are similar. At the races everyone is there for one common goal which is to win. How each race team prepares and setups up their care is different. This can be compared to online students who all have different lifestyles and experiences. In an online learning environment the common goal is to succeed and take something away from the course. This is true each time a racecar reaches the track. The race track could symbolize the classroom and the cars would be the students. The flagged or the online teacher controls the pace and sets the rules or classroom guidelines. They have the ability to slow the cars down and give them signals through the race. Online learning gives students the opportunity to select the pace within reason. Every week the same car does not win but you learn from your strengthens and weaknesses and are able to adjust and come back better next week. In an online classroom sometimes you have to do poorly or misunderstand an assignment to realize how important all aspects of the online learning experience is important. Being an online teacher to me means you have to be committed to being a forever learner. Considering what your students have going on in their lives is important to take into consideration when course work load is being established. After creating my own module I realized how important introductions really are. Understanding what goes into one module is incredibly helpful and will help me in my future courses. The conclusion that I got from reading our last discussion was that everyone seemed to be on the same page that technology is not pedagogy. Megan, Michelle, and Lorraine all had the title that technology is not pedagogy. We also all stated similar things that technology is important to use in pedagogy. I found an excellent resource that discusses many aspects of online learning. One area that is important for me as an online teacher is creating a learning community that establishes a comfort zone. Everyone reaches the finish line at some point and being an online teacher helps them get there. Self assessment: 3 references to module & outside source, featured image
I can remember in 2nd grade we created these poster size outlines which included what we wanted to be when we grew up, our favorite things at the time, and what we thought we would be like in 10 years. I can still picture exactly what I drew on the that board. It was me standing next to a chalk board in front of poorly drawn desks. As I continued with my education I became less interested in teaching and more interested in dentistry. What I did not realize was that teacher side of me was still there and would be utilized in my dental hygiene career. I educate everyday and my operatory is my classroom. Every patient is a student and not all of them have the same backgrounds or needs. This is not any different than online students. This is why it is important for a variety of learning tools are used to deliver content and encourage further learning.
Building an online community, feeling connected with my students, and having students connected to one another is important. My fellow classmate Katherine mentioned in her discussion post “The use of web 2.0 tools for introductions really helped us learn more about each other which helped us make connections.” I am a visual learner and to put names to faces and pictures is easier for me to recognize someone. Having visual introductions is something I will require for my future students. Instructor communication and interaction with all aspects of a course for example participating in discussions and detailed notes or comments about assignments. Lorraine said it best at the very start of her post with “Learning relies on interactions with others.” These interactions I feel must take place between the students and between the students and the instructor. Critical thinking is extremely important in any classroom but especially in an online classroom. Having a presence even though it may not be physical is important. I found this awesome resource which outlines strategies for online learning. One of the key points that made was having a teacher presence. This what they stated about it including this chart.
“Teaching Presence: Teaching presence is the facilitation and direction of cognitive and social process for the realization of personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes. There are two ways that the professor and the students can add teaching presence to a discussion, as displayed in the following table.”
Figure 1.1: Components of Teaching Presence Facilitating the discussion Direct instruction Identifying areas of agreement and disagreement Seeking to reach consensus / understanding Encouraging, acknowledging and reinforcing student contributions Setting a climate for learning Drawing in participants / prompting discussion Assessing the efficacy of the process Presenting content and questions Focusing the discussion Summarizing the discussion Confirming understanding Diagnosing misperceptions Injecting knowledge from diverse sources Responding to technical concerns
Michelle and I both feel that “Online teaching strategies which encourage active learning is critical. ” Critical thinking skills are very valuable skills that are needed for any career or job and I feel that as an instructor that is one of the most valuable and precious things I can encourage and help students develop.
There will be periods of trial and error when I become a teacher somethings that I hope go smooth and work well and might not and being able to adapt and use the critical thinking skills I need to overcome what I may face as an instructor.
Self Assessment: A – References to 3 classmates, 1 outside source