Top 3 Tips for Teaching Online
Updated: Mar 26
Over the past two years, I have had the opportunity to work with an amazing team of teachers that are focused on developing and teaching online courses. I thought now, more than ever, would be a good time to share my top three tips for teaching online. Don't see one that you think is important? Be sure to comment below and share your ideas.
1. Ask for Feedback
This seems like an obvious suggestion. However, when I reach out to parents and guardians at the beginning of the year to explain what I do, and to share how the class works, they are always blown away that I want and search for their student's feedback. This tells me that not many teachers are asking the kids what or how they like to learn. Imagine being told everyday what you are going to do and having no say in it whatsoever. Not many of us would want to stay in an environment like that every day. So, tip number one, ask for feedback. Ask what they want to learn, what they like, and what they dislike. What they want to learn may not match up with your standard, but it will be much easier to circle back to a standard once you start with something that interests them.
2. Have Fun!
I have the best news ever! There are no state tests this year! Remember when you said, "Man if there was no testing, I could do so many awesome things with my students." Well this is your chance to do all those awesome things! Break the mold and do something different. Do something out of your comfort zone. Maybe it starts with simply asking the kids what they want to learn. To me, this is the most exciting tip I can give you when it comes to teaching online. Never forget why you decided to become a teacher. You believe to your core that your subject is awesome. It is time to make it awesome for your students.
3. Make Stuff
One of the questions I get most often from teachers is, "Well, how do you keep them from cheating online?" This makes me laugh, because the same can be said for a face to face class. News flash kids are going to cheat. If you took an advanced degree online you probably cracked the book open to check an answer too. If you didn't, you are a better human being than me. If we know kids are going to cheat on your "multiple guess" test, what can we do differently? Replace that "multiple guess" test with an opportunity for students to create a product to demonstrate knowledge. Have them create a Podcast, have them produce a YouTube style video, have them create a stop motion video. The list could go on and on...but once again, you could start by simply asking them how they want to create.
The best part of all these is that they don't simply apply to the next few weeks or months. They apply to your classroom at the start of next year as well. Look at this opportunity to be home as a blessing. You are with your family and loved ones, and you have a chance to revamp how you teach. In the comments below, please take a moment and share what you are doing with your students online. We can all learn from one another. As always, thank you for reading. If you don't already follow me on Twitter, you can find me @teachandcoachga and please share this post with your colleagues. Let's take this opportunity and make learning at home awesome for our students!
Have a great day!