2020 began as a year full of possibilities, with New Year’s Resolutions and goals galore. Ten months in and a global pandemic later, it’s clear that the year had other plans for everyone.
Although COVID-19 has affected many aspects of society, education is one industry that it hit especially hard. Schools across the world have needed to adjust to online and hybrid learning models, making it difficult for teachers and learners to adjust.
This is the first time that many teachers have needed to teach online. So what steps can you take to make the process easier?
Keep reading for a list of seven tips that’ll make teaching online from home as painless of a process as possible.
Table of Contents
1. Make Communication a Priority
One of the most important parts of any educational program is effective communication between all parties involved. Most of the time, this means the teacher, the student, and, in the case of young learners, the parents.
When teaching online, it can be easy to forget about communicating. Make an effort to keep students and parents involved with any class updates. This includes student progress, homework, tests or projects, and anything else.
If your school or institution doesn’t provide you with a communication software program, you’ll have to find your own. Zoom and Google Hangouts are two popular types. Using them allows you to video chat, share your computer screen, and annotate on your screen.
2. Stay Organized
The organization is another area that can suffer when teaching online, especially if you’ve never done it before. As is the case with communication, if your institution doesn’t decide on an official platform to use, you’ll have to find one yourself.
Blackboard, Canvas, and Google Classroom are three of the most popular platforms you can use. Each one allows you to upload and store assignments, assessments, and classroom materials. You may find them difficult to jump into if you’ve never used them, however.
If time is short, consider using a simpler option. Using Google Documents can be an easy way to manage your course. Have the main document that links to other sections, such as classwork, homework, and lectures.
3. Get Creative With Content Delivery
Many teachers struggle with making learning fun when teaching online. How can you engage students when you’re stuck behind a computer screen?
In fact, there are many things you can do. As mentioned, video conference apps such as Zoom come with annotation features, as well as a whiteboard. This can be a place for students to share answers like in a real classroom.
If you need to assign readings to students, you can use Word documents or create PDFs. Students can then highlight and annotate these documents.
To stay creative and keep your students interested, you’ll need to make sure that you’re using the best online learning software.
4. Embrace Educational Videos
Teaching online does come with some benefits. One of those is that you have more chances to take advantage of multimedia tools, such as videos.
Many sites offer videos made by others. Khan Academy is one platform that features many great educational videos. You can also try sites such as YouTube, although make sure the content you find is appropriate.
If you’re feeling creative, you can also try to make your own videos or lectures. This can be a fun way for students to learn about a topic, as they see you in a video as opposed to someone else. It also gives you and your students more flexibility with time.
5. Consider Using Audio
If you’re feeling camera-shy, you can also record audio files to share with your students. Provided they listen to what you say, this can be a good way to give them a break from the blocks of texts that often dominate the online learning environment.
You can also find a number of great educational podcasts that can help you deliver content. Look around on different platforms to find podcasts that creators make for student audiences.
Another great thing about audio files is that they don’t need as much space as videos. This makes it easy to send files that your students won’t have to wait an hour to open.
6. Look for Test and Quiz Alternatives
If you rely too much on tests and quizzes in normal learning environments, you can exhaust your students and turn them off to the learning process. With online learning, this can be more severe of a problem.
Instead of using assessments to test your students’ knowledge, teach online look for different alternatives. Online platforms can give students a lot of creativity, which means that projects and other activities can all be great options.
Consider using a program such as Anchor to make a podcast. Students can record themselves, then share their work with the class.
7. Be Personable
Above all else, remember that during these trying times, students and learners need to feel support from all outlets. That means from their teachers, as well.
Right now, everyone is trying the best they can. Make sure to encourage your students, and to try and be understanding with any problems or unforeseen events that may arise.
By supporting your students and letting them know that you’re always there for them, you’re helping them through one of the most difficult times of their lives.
Worried About Having to Teach Online? This Guide Should Help
For many people, it’s a struggle to try and get used to having to teach online. Yet by following this guide, you can be certain that you’ll do as good of a job as possible.
Remember that at its core, teaching online is the same as teaching offline. Give it your all, and your students will too.
Do you have any other suggestions on how to make teaching online easier? Make sure to let us know in a comment down below.