One of the immediate reactions I am hearing in our sudden move to the online platform, is something along the lines of, "I am afraid to teach online because I am not good with technology or I am not up-to-date with the latest in technology" and so and so forth.
Pedagogy instead of technology, should drive instruction, not the other way round, in my opinion. Technology, at its most basic, is only an instructional tool. Thus, as I reflect on this, I would like to begin to share some thoughts on pedagogy as an invitation for us all to share pedagogical considerations as we think about teaching online during these uncertain times.
I begin with making a distinction between "teacher" and "teaching presence" (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2001). Teacher presence consist of teachers being right there and present in the classroom, undertaking direct instruction. Whereas teaching presence is the design, development, facilitation, contextualization of classroom activities and environment, so that students know what to do on their own what they get into the online classroom. It is the "backroom preparation" that we spend a lot of time on.
One of my ways of maintaining teaching presence, over the years (since 2004), that has worked for me, is to self-story my "grand design" in the teacher education classes I teach. Namely, this is to make transparent/narrate in the background, why I am doing something and what I am joyfully hoping or struggling with to achieve. Although not a foolproof way that achieves all the results that I hope, I thrive on the collaborative feedback I get from online students in terms of how we can work together. Most recently I enabled Course Networking (CN) on the Canvas platform for the purpose. But email and other messaging tools would work as well.
Chime in with other pedagogical thoughts if you have time. Hang in there! \o/Faridah Pawan, TEIS Chair ElectIndiana University
Hi Nancy -
I have just emailed you. Your staff might find this video on quickly transitioning to online courses very useful:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQKavQcWVMoI think a few key things to remember are that your students may also be struggling with making the transition to new technology. I would ask for their patience and remind them that they will both be learning together.
There are a few things your staff can do to help with the transition. In Zoom, I have found the use of 'breakout rooms' very useful for creating more interactive discussions.
Your staff might want to incorporate the use of things like Google Docs, which can be set up so that everyone can work on them in real time during classes.
What kinds of assessments are you hoping to do?
Feel free to respond here, or to my email!
Teachers are being told that they can't just do it - there are experts who work in this field. It's not the same as teaching face-to-face. You can't just do what you've always done.
But, see... the thing is, you can (at least for the moment), and you probably actually should. Because your students need a teacher at the moment, not someone carrying out hurried experiments.
Ah sure, people will try to sell you things and tools and their advice and more, but maybe - just maybe the first thing you need to do is simply do a bit of teaching. Pick things up slowly, try something new occasionally.
Stick some sticky whiteboard paper on a wall in your house, get a decent webcam and a microphone and do what you do best - teach. Draw, write, show, demonstrate, ask questions, involve people, have discussions. Do what you know. In a while maybe try the breakout rooms, or add something else in. But first get comfortable.
Online teaching IS different, and in time you may well want to do a course, or get some more skills. And these may make you a better online teacher for as long as it's needed. With some training you'll acquire new skills and work out how to combine asynchronous tools with synchronous tools, how to plan an online course, how to moderate an online course, how to support and mentor people online. All this would be great, and useful - in the long run.
But for now, you know how to do what you do, so just do it like that and don't get stressed or pressured. There will be time enough for everyone to become experts, I suspect." -- Gavin Dudeney
I read today a line which I would like to share with you, "There is no winter in the land of hope. Only spring time!"
I echo here what Joe was saying about teaching. I believe the "magic" is still in the teacher, online or onsite.
When I teach online "teaching presence" instead "teacher presence" becomes a dominant feature and consideration. In maintaining teaching presence, a few things that I have tried, viz.:
Faridah at 230 words.