Compared to face to face, online teaching has its list of disadvantages and can possibly at first sight, put off the most experienced teacher. However, as human beings, we have the capacity to adapt, many people working in different sectors, in some situations, sometimes have to work online and manage to cope with this situation perfectly. It is obvious that this tendency will be more and more frequent as time goes.
The good sides
While giving your first lessons online, you’ll realise that although not being able to offer human interaction will lack crucially, there are a lot of advantages to it:
- Access to more resources and material for your lessons
- Possibility for autonomous work and research
- More time left for other things
- Learn self discipline and responsibility (For younger students =))
- Work schedule
- Your commuting is cut down to 3 minutes depending on the size of your flat
- No more printing
What should I consider before teaching online?
What app or platform should I use?
There are many platforms and app available, even though Zoom is particularly famous at the moment, Skype or Microsoft teams bluejeans or whereby our platforms that worked very well and it is only a matter of preferences.
You also have to consider your equipment, which will now be your computer, the platform you use, a headset with a microphone and your Internet connection. No matter where you live in the world your connection will sometimes be spotty, remember it is not your fault and it depends on the day. What you can do to prevent this is to use your mobile phone as a hotspot to have a better connection, or to talk to your internet provider to see if they can have a better speed band to offer.
What is actually going to change?
As the interaction is different you cannot expect your lesson to be the same online, here are a few examples of the adjustments you can make:
Instead of handing out copies images or project projecting something on the board you could share your screen, this feature is available on all the different platforms.
Instead of using your whiteboard, you could use a feature usually called “annotation” or “annotate”, this feature is usually available on most platforms. This will allow you to put an annotation on anything you share with the students be it a PowerPoint presentation, a picture, an internet page, a pdf etc.
You can use the breakroom feature available on Zoom in order to have your students working in pairs or groups.
You can use the chat to have your students doing a writing task. It will also allow you to decide whether you want to share the writings and the correction with the other students or not.
On some platforms features are available to share the control of your screen which allows you to use or create activities students are going to interact with.
Having an access to your Internet browser gives you the possibility for using online games. What you will find below is a non-exhaustive list of websites that offer engaging and challenging activities for your students:
- … (This list is collaborative so don’t hesitate to share your ideas in the comment section)
That’s it you’re all set.
Put your coolest pair of flip flops and let’s go !