What sometimes gets a little overlooked in discussions of online learning and its effectiveness is the role of online teaching, and the professional development resources required to fully leverage the online learning paradigm.
In the May issue of District Administration, Alison DeNisco's feature article Preparing for Online Teaching; Web-based assessment and communication skills in K12 emphasizes the critical role of the teacher. As she says, “With online instruction comes a change in the nature of teaching, communicating with and assessing students. As schools move to the online model, administrators must ensure that teachers and students are prepared for the shift.”
Some of the biggest challenges include adjusting and developing teaching skills to combine multimedia resources with traditional text-based resources, as well as addressing technical issues students may face, such as connectivity as well as verifying and maintaining links embedded in content. (An accompanying piece briefly identifies nine strategies for effective online teachers.)
In what ways have you been changing your approach or developing new skills to not only prepare your students for online learning, but to prepare yourself for online teaching? As a leading provider of online learning solutions, we are relentless about enabling, empowering, and equipping teachers so that they can reach their potential while helping their students reach theirs. Our belief is that online learning isn't done without teachers, but with and for teachers.