Power of Love
- Aug 24, 2011
I'm not saying it is as good as teaching in person, but having experience teaching middle school students live last school year from March to June, the kids learned something. In my math classes, on average, I finished the year about two weeks behind. Not ideal, but not as terrible as you might think.
The key though, is being available to teach online live, interact with the students, take questions, have discussions with the students and provide feedback both to their daily work but also their assessments. Thankfully, my school did that right away after Spring Break and we'll be ready to go back online whenever that happens. I saved a lot of time and effort conferencing with my students verbally, displaying their work on my screen than writing a bunch of comments that most will be unread. But this was only possible due to my small class sizes. It would have been impossible with 25 per class.
Anyways, first day for teachers is today and it'll be my first time in school since March. I can't lie, I'm incredibly anxious and it's hard to have even an hour not thinking about it, but once the kids start coming it'll feel better to get the ball rolling, even though I have no idea how it'll look.
The term I learned from my sister's and her son's schooling is synchronous and asynchronous online learning. Synchronous learning means the kids are online at the same time the course is being taught. Asynchronous meaning the teacher creates the content and the kids access it when they choose to access it.
My grad work with online was all asynchronous and it works well for adults who need to balance work and life with school. I believe this method works better for older students.
For kids who are grade school and maybe even through middle school I think synchronous teaching is better. Part of what kids are learning while in school is how to deal with and learn within time constraints.
Even with in-person schooling not all kids have their brain schedule lined up with the school schedule. Not all kids are early risers and are ready to process information at 8:00am.
One thing I am a huge advocate of with the online learning is keeping the content available for a week or two at a time for students to be able to retrieve and review the content as needed.