Tuesday, July 17, 2012

6 Tips for the Successful Online Teacher -- THE Journal

6 Tips for the Successful Online Teacher -- THE Journal

In recent intake interviews with new students of education at West Texas A&M University, I found that teaching online is the new Holy Grail for many young K-12 educators. They dream about how wonderful it would be to spend part of their day working from home in their bunny slippers and to conduct meaningful interactions with students via Skype while preparing dinner. To this group, teaching online means never having to be anywhere at any particular time, never having to wear uncomfortable "professional clothes," and never being asked a question without having time to research the answer. After two decades in online teaching in both the corporate world and higher education, I regret to report that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the network connection. While online teaching offers many rewards for instructors, it takes a special set of skills and attitudes to excel at it. And these are emphatically not the same skills and attitudes that make an exceptional classroom teacher. Here's the mindset it takes to be a successful online teacher:

1 comment:

Steve Weber said...

I'm concerned that online learning suffers a lack of social skill development that comes from just sitting in the classroom. I have At-Risk students who often listed to classroom discussions with their heads down pretending to be sleeping. But occasionally one hits on a thoughts and participates for a moment. Just this participation of offering ideas in a group setting is a learning experience. Regulating your presentation by reading the body language of peers present is a skill learned through making mistakes. This is missing in most technology environments.

The teachers who hope to sit at home in their PJ's aren't interested in the students. They are only seeking to make their lives easier, which sadly often makes them less successful as teachers.