Teaching online looks simple on paper, but when you look at your current notes, lesson plans and activities you once covered in face-to-face classes, things start to slowly fall apart. That doesn’t mean it’s a difficult task. It just means there are some areas that need some rethinking and reorganization.
Create An Outline
Keep in mind that you cannot translate your face-to-face classes step by step to an online setting. While some districts and supervisors with some to no experience in online education will suggest you do exactly this, take into account that for the sake of your students, a three-hour class should not be longer that ninety minutes in an online setting. The best way to outline what you’re going to teach in an online class is to sit down and write down what you need to cover. Once that you have a good idea, then you start to pull from what materials, activities and lesson plans you possess.
When it comes to activities and online resources, there’s a myriad of apps you can use that can be adapted to your lessons, but you can play it safe by testing the waters with what you currently possess and when you’re comfortable, start experimenting with some of the tools available.
Another thing you can consider is the asynchronous and synchronous options. If you believe an activity doesn’t translate well into a synchronous session, you can always assign it for later. If there’s a reading that you need to discuss with the class, why not assign it for next class? Have them take some notes, answer a few questions, and then discuss them the next class (here are a few tips you can implement)
Create an easy-to-follow Routine
Just like you do in face-to-face environments, having a way to distribute assignments, the way class works, and the process in which you class starts and ends is of critical importance in online classes.
Make sure to use an established way to distribute homework and extra materials in a way that students never miss content (Either email, google classroom; or anything you or your district picked for you).
Make your classes consistent in a way that students are always sure when and what time they need to be ready. Consistency is key.
Choose Your Tools
When it comes to synchronous teaching, the options are limited, which is a good thing. Tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet are the most used and the most common, and they come with nifty tools to make teaching online fun and interactive.
Keep in mind that some of these are not free or limited in functionality, so check with your district or supervisor to see if the school has them available for you to use.