—by Chris Speck, Golden Apple Fellow 2018— 

Virtual teaching can be disorienting. In the absence of our classrooms chock a bock full of fancy science gizmos, we’re becalmed in a sea of unknowns. Tech access, motivation, attendance, and prior knowledge are just a few of the variables battering online teachers. However, positive experiences can be found in the midst of this mire.

Online teaching lends itself to student voice and choice. Any topic can be explored to the depth and breadth the student desires. This coming year will be a continuation of this, with an emphasis on games to review past content. Shared google docs buttress group work. Citations provide evidence of scholarship and comments quickly lead to improvements.

Man Pointing At Large Projector Screen With Computer Code

Best practices for online/what’s worked for me

  • -post assignment and/or introduce assignment on one day then review assignment on the next day
  • -stick with asynchronous instruction for major lesson delivery
  • -if you post a video make sure there’s an article as backup
  • -maximum content is one video, one article, one google doc
  • -keep things easier, simpler, and shorter
  • -make cheating impossible by asking open ended questions that cause students to lend their voice to conversations

The 2020-2021 school year is a mystery, but a good mystery always piques your interest. There’s nothing COVID can do to completely diminish good teaching, and there’s nothing we can do to completely replicate the experience of being in the classroom. Still, we’ll try. And maybe we’ll be all the better for it.

9 Ways Online Teaching Should be Different is another valuable resource.