Working & teaching in today’s tech-centred world can be both daunting & rewarding. The challenge facing us as educators is “how can we harness our students ‘natural’ affinity with technology, especially mobile tech?”
It’s a generalisation, but our students do love to use information technologies. They’ve grown up with the immediacy of access to information & the feedback that comes with it. So if you do choose to introduce online learning into your classrooms you need to ensure that you keep in touch with it yourself. If your students are submitting work to you via an online LMS (Learning Management System), do your absolute best to provide them with feedback in as timely a manner as possible. This isn’t always easy, but make the effort.
In addition to this immediacy issue, consider these points.
- Are you going to be delivering content to your students online?
- Is it supplemental content or core content?
- Is it info to get them thinking?
- Will you include links to other sources?
- Is the content designed to be self-paced or are you still guiding your students through it?
- Are students going to be submitting work to you online?
- Are you giving students some freedom of choice in how they create & submit their work?
- Are you only using it in the class ‘pc lab’ or do you expect the students to access it ‘at home’?
- Do students need a pc or are you catering to mobile use as well?
These points do seem to jump around, but there is a lot to consider. You don’t have to have all of these answered before you begin, but having some idea of what you hope to achieve with online learning is beneficial for you & your students. You may have a clear plan or you may choose to go into it as an adventure with your students. It’s your choice.
Do some research. Read what others who have already ventured into online learning have to say. There are many different points of view & different people find different levels of success. I found this article on the Advantages And Possible Limitations Of Online Learning helpful in making me think more about how I plan to use online learning.