5 Teacher reflections
This course includes several video clips made at home by people who have moved teaching online. These provide you with a real-world experience related to the learning material. At the same time, they also highlight how simple video clips can be produced and used for online teaching purposes.
This clip was made by a teacher named Sarah S. Her experiences reflect some of the concepts that will be covered during the course.
I want to tell you today about how I moved my teaching online. After completing several courses offered by The Open University on online education, I started teaching for UK-based online primary and secondary school. I personally within the system teach ITCSE English and do some private tutoring as well. And there’s talk of my teaching developing and expanding, and I’ll be teaching A-level English shortly as well.
The particular institution I work for uses a system of synchronous lessons. So the students log in at the same time as I do, and we have a class. We use software, which is called Electa. And within Electa, my students can see my prepared slides. They can hear me talk to them. I can hear them talk to me. And of course, they hear each other as well. They can write on the whiteboard, and they also have a kind of text chat, which they can use to communicate with me, and also with each other. I suppose you might call that a kind of back channel. It’s available within the system.
As well as using the classroom software to actually deliver the classes, there’s also a VLE [virtual learning environment], which allows me to store useful resources for my students so they can access them at any time. And we also put homework in there, and I mark from there as well. All the classes I deliver are recorded, and therefore they can be replayed by students if they’ve missed something or misunderstood something, or if they’re ill or can't attend classes.
I really, really relished the challenge of creating a lively, interactive, and engaged group of students online, and have managed that with different age groups within the school. As a teacher with a particular interest in educating students with high functioning autism, I’m constantly amazed by how teaching online kind of levels the academic – or rather, the educational playing field, so that students with these particular issues can show their actual academic abilities without worrying about the environment, which is often so unsuitable for them. And it’s really been lovely to watch how many of my students have thrived in that way. They, of course, are only one group that education online really suits – it works for multiple different groups of people for lots and lots of different reasons.
But yes, if you’re thinking about going forward with teaching online, I would highly recommend it. I wouldn’t choose now to switch back into the conventional classroom. For me, there are too many benefits and too many opportunities offered by the kind of teaching I’m doing at the moment.
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