Online training is the new norm for all professionals. This mode of learning has been adopted by educational institutions to upgrade teachers’ skills. It allows teachers to remain in their localities while still improving their methodology and content. The approach has made it cheaper and more convenient for teachers to advance their knowledge.
While online learning is convenient, it must help the institution as well as the teachers to meet their learning expectations. It does not give much room for practical sessions to help the teachers gain better skills. It also requires a lot of investment in necessary infrastructure. Here are important areas to consider when transitioning to online training for teachers to ensure that the sessions remain effective.
What technology is available to make online teacher training effective? Most institutions and tutors will go for conferencing apps. Is there a website where a professional can do my paper for me or sit for exams on my behalf? Which are the most effective gadgets to use as a teacher, and what can you recommend to your students?
Online training is entirely reliant on technology. You will have students from different countries and states. Identify the technology to use in preparing your content and sessions such that they help your students to understand your content. Consider the format of the content so that it is easy to share online and use on phones, tablets, or laptops. Since students do not have tech support, they use the most basic technology to teach, engage, and share learning materials.
Online learning requires the acquisition of gadgets for the teacher and students. A teacher requires a camera, an internet-enabled device, a phone to engage students, and a laptop or tablet to prepare the content. A microphone to capture your voice effectively will also help you to communicate effectively with your students.
Institutions provide the gadgets required to prepare the lesson. The output from these gadgets must be easy to use for your students on the other end. It completes the cycle of learning, enabling both the tutor and his students to achieve their goals. Since the gadgets can also be used for other purposes, you should invest in quality infrastructure to make learning efficient.
The flexibility of online sessions
Teachers are already working in schools and other institutions even as they upgrade their skills. They will not be available on a certain day or evening hours to take the classes. The teaching schedule must consider such inconvenience.
Allow the teachers to follow your session in their free time instead of being restricted to a particular hour. Such flexibility allows them to learn in the evening or during breaks. You avoid disrupting their daily chores, which could be their source of livelihood. Flexibility is also one of the ways to capture teachers from distant states and countries operating in diverse time zones.
The need for engagement
How will the tutor interact with his students? Choose applications that allow learners to send messages during class sessions. The application should also allow the live sharing of files to enhance learning.
Some topics and concepts require demonstration. How will the institution and the class cater to this need? Can each student access locally available materials to use in a demonstration? An engaging class makes it easier for your students to understand. It will also make the concepts taught memorable.
Cost of online learning
Gadgets and applications are expensive to acquire. Colleges invested in schools and teachers to make learning easier. Such investments justified the hefty fees paid as tuition. How will institutions share the cost with the students?
Students should not have to spend a fortune to follow your class. Make it easier, efficient, and affordable to follow your classes for students of all social classes. The content must also be prepared in a way that is cost-effective to consume. Such considerations make it easier for students to follow your sessions.
Resources beyond you as the teacher
Learning does not have to involve lectures all the time. Identify other resources that can support your teaching. They may include videos of lectures by other tutors on the subject. You may also prepare slides or videos of the site and events the students are supposed to cover.
Diverse content prevents boredom. It infuses diversity in your sessions, making learning more engaging. Take the opportunity to suggest other materials that enhance the learning experience without lowering the quality of content. You must, therefore, choose the alternative content carefully to avoid misleading your students.
Supporting students to follow the sessions effectively
Identify the challenges that students in your class could be facing when following your lesson. Recommend resources like tutorials or videos on how to utilize the technology you are using to deliver the lesson. Listen to their concerns before the end of the session. In case the technology is challenging for the students, pause to allow them to catch up. You may also provide recorded versions of the session for revision and synchronization.
Technology is an enabler
Technology is an enabler and not the main issue. Prepare adequately for the lesson, just as you would if you were delivering it in a physical class. Use technology to make it easier to deliver your lesson and not as an excuse to miss your targets.
Online learning comes with a myriad of challenges for the teacher and the student. Ensure that the technology available will support your teaching and learning. Make the session as engaging as possible. Above all, keep learning simply to cater to the diverse technology capabilities of your students.