How to Start Teaching Online: A Guide for New Teachers
Given the rise of online education and the potential for it to change the way we teach, it’s natural to wonder if it can really be done successfully. The truth is, there are many online teaching ideas that don’t work. It’s best to find out beforehand if this approach will work for you and your student population. If you’re looking to start teaching online, you may want to consider these tips before committing to a full course load. These steps will help guide you in the right direction so that you can focus on what makes a great lesson plan and how to keep students engaged throughout their time spent with you.
Choose the right audience first
One of the most important steps in any online teaching strategy is choosing the right audience. There are many different types of students and you want to cater to them all. You don’t want to focus on trying to convert all the casual players in your class to lifetime players. It’s important to focus on a select few who will take the time to pay attention in your classes. There are many different audiences you can choose from when it comes to teaching online. The individuals you choose will help you determine if you should be teaching in a hybrid or full-time capacity.
Define your objectives
Once you’ve chosen the right audience, it’s time to set a deadline to decide what your teaching objectives are. This is the backbone of any online teaching strategy. The first step is to clearly define what you’re trying to accomplish in your students’ eyes. Once you’ve defined what you want to get out of your online lessons, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding. Sometimes, we tell our students that they shouldn’t worry about finding a teacher online who “gets it.” We mean it in a good way, but it’s also wise to make sure you understand your audience so you know what to expect from each student.
Make it simple for students to understand
When it comes time to design your online lessons, the first step is to make sure you clearly communicate what your students should be learning. This might seem obvious, but so many new teachers don’t put this into practice. You want your students to be able to understand what you’re trying to teach them, not just what you want them to know. Descriptions of concepts or problems to be solved should be kept simple and to the point. One of the best ways to do this is to avoid using terms that your students won’t understand. If you want them to add up a pair of numbers, use the number 2 instead of 2+ or even 2-1/2.
Use digital tools to supplement traditional ones
When you’re only able to reach a small portion of your student body, it can be really challenging to find time to teach with the latest technology. Even with online classes, you won’t be able to keep up with the latest trends in technology. While there is no guarantee that using new digital tools will hurt your traditional teaching techniques, it’s always a good idea to experiment and see what works best for you and your students. Some common examples of new digital tools used in online classes include: Video and online lessons iTunes U Google play
Teach with the latest technology
Just because something is new doesn’t mean it’s better or more efficient. The truth is that most of the new things aren’t better at all. It’s just that we haven’t been using them in our classes yet. As a new teacher, you’ll want to focus on what works best for your particular community. It’s better to use the latest and greatest technology in one city, than to try to use it in another with no guarantee that it will work at all.
Wrap up: going from teaching online to teaching fulltime
As you can see from the list above, there are many different challenges and opportunities when it comes to teaching online. You’ll have to choose the right one for you and your students. The beauty of online education is that you can choose any school or learning style you want. With so many different options, you get the flexibility to choose the right one for you and your students. Check out our article on the best digital tools for learning. Once you’ve found the right one, you’ll be able to focus on adapting to its needs and challenges rather than having to spend time learning a new way.