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Teaching in a physical classroom has its fair share of challenges and difficulties on its own. Now, in the time of a pandemic due to coronavirus (COVID-19), what are the things students and teachers have to add to their list of concerns for a safe and effective classroom setup?
Online teaching may seem like a more convenient way of communicating at your own pace especially with the current situation the world is in right at the moment. However, that is not the case. Teaching online offers additional struggles on the end of both teacher and student. For this article, we will focus on the various factors that may affect this shift from face-to-face to online teaching. We will also provide some helpful resources that educators may use to help in this transition.
Learn to Curate Materials
As thousands of individuals face the changes in their social engagements and work setups, it is no surprise that the fields of education and even professional training are looking for ways to ease into this new normal. In response to the situation, individuals and their employers try to adapt to online interactions and teaching.
As educators try to make adjustments to this school year's curriculum, there is a lot of pressure to find new interactive ways to facilitate learning. However, do not stress yourself too much. Learn to curate materials that are available online. There is a rich source of materials, articles, and other open-source educational finds on the internet.
This process of curating will help you maximize your time in preparing for your lessons. However, this step does not necessarily mean that you will stop creating your materials. Of course, you still need to find ways to best introduce your topics for a specific class with various students. Curating readily available materials will just be an added help on your end. You may even extend this by also engaging your students to search for reliable resources which they can use in class, or ask them to read the curated materials you have for their own learning during off-class hours.
Adapt and survive
There are many things to learn and numerous obstacles to survive when you are put in an unfamiliar environment. It is good to be ready by finding available resources to assist in this transition process. If you are one of these individuals who wish to enhance your skills in your professional online engagements and online teaching, here are some open-access materials that may help you. The quality of each one, however, may vary so be patient in going through these suggested resources.
1. Teach from Anywhere
In partnership with UNESCO, Google presents a curated list and helpful guide to their available online applications that may help educators and students collaborate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using this hub of information directed created by Google, teachers, and students can prepare and select necessary applications that they think may help them learn.
The Google company's Teach from Anywhere is a helpful source of guidelines for the use of the Google Classroom, Google Meet, Docs, Slides, and others. These are essential tools that can help for both in-class and offline task completions.
Let students share
A distinct interaction in the classroom is the students’ engagement and the teachers during the discussion. With the use of Padlet, you can keep records of your student's work simultaneously and provide an outlet where the class may interact with one another in an online environment. Should you wish to learn more about these functions, here is an article that can help you better understand the features of Padlet and ways to use it for better student engagement effectively. There are a lot of helpful means to keep the discussion and participation of the students once you get the hang of this tool.
As someone who wishes to find distinct means to introduce and conduct your lessons, you may also consider checking out TED-Ed. It is a space where people wish to "spark and celebrate the ideas and knowledge-sharing of teachers and students around the world."
Discover how you can use videos in the lesson’s presentation plus the interactive sharing experience for students. You may add questions, discussion topics, and even provide other supplementary materials. It is an interesting tool that can assist any educator in lesson planning as you are guided with the specific parts where you let your students think, dig deeper into the topic, and discuss.
Creating quick polls for your class may be possible with this online tool. Doodle helps you in getting your students involved during and even after the discussion. You may even let students explore this by creating questionnaires or surveys. Another great thing about this is that it is free. You can have access to this without any worries about extra charges. Just make sure to read the guide on using the website and its features for you to start creating your own polls easily.
Are you looking for a collaborative online environment to work on? You may be interested in exploring the different features of Slack. This website is not only a limited tool for business professionals. As educators, it is necessary for people involved in the administration and the academic departments to communicate with ease, especially in these trying times.
In the video, it is even introduced as a unique replacement for your email. This is because of the streamed conversation feature. You can easily place messages under certain categories or topics, teams, and others on a designated channel. Then you can be in the loop with whatever is happening under such an assigned project or lesson. There are even handy messaging plus voice and video call features.
Be Mindful and Be Purposive in Your Decision
These are only few of the available applications and materials that you can utilize in your classes. However, you must not be limited to these options nor be overwhelmed by all the other numerous ones accessible online. As a final reminder, you must understand your goal for choosing specific applications, websites, and other resources in your lessons. Learn to check the ones most suitable for your needs; through this, you will have a better way of sifting through all the ones you read or see.
JM Salgado (author) from Philippines on October 24, 2020:
That is true.
I hope that even the different software companies may find ways to accommodate the new online learning needs of the people as well.
Sp Greaney from Ireland on October 23, 2020:
It is great that there are a lot of resources now available for these kind of situations that teacher are finding themselves in. It's definitely a challenging time for educators.