In this second pedagogical paper I explore how online teaching and learning can be beneficial for my future students! I also discuss some items I am excited to teach and some items I am concerned about teaching in my classroom!
1. What kind of students might I be teaching?
After I finish my studies at Michigan State University, I plan to teach Elementary students in the 4th or 5th grade. Throughout my academic achievements, I felt the most valued in school in 4th grade, and that's when my interest in school changed. Although I would love to teach 4th and 5th grade students I am open to teach any grade level in the K-8th grade education system. In the future, I may go back to school to earn a master's degree, but this is all in due time. In my future online classroom I plan to offer “online courses -that- provide opportunities for students” (Loeb, 2021). As a future educator it’s important for me to offer courses that will engage and challenge my students intellectually. Although, “preparing teachers to facilitate learning in online environments is not a simple, apolitical endeavor” (Rice and Deschaine, 2020) I am up for this task. Giving students options to how they learn is very important to me, which is why I think it’s so important to offer an online curriculum. There is no set method on how to teach students because they all learn differently, whether this be hands on, visual, etc...
2. What aspects of online teaching and learning am I most excited about teaching?
I am most excited to break the stigma with online teaching and learning. It’s a common belief that in online classes, “you have to teach yourself the material” (Flavin, 2019) which is not the case. Although you are not physically in a classroom with an instructor, they will still engage the students with new material to learn. I also plan to break the stigma of how pandemic teaching, “has been marked deeply by the failure to engage students learning remotely…” (Harrington and DeBruler, 2021). Although some teachers did not have the right tool belt to handle online teaching, the pandemic itself has thrown a wrench into many lives. I am excited about changing the mindsets of parents and scholars, that although not all teachers can say they navigated teaching online successfully, it is still a very important tool to have and offer to students. I am also excited to further the education to my future students and generations to come through the responsible use of technology.
3. What aspects of online teaching and learning am I most concerned about teaching?
One aspect that I am most concerned about when it comes to online teaching and learning is that, “if you or your students are new to online teaching, expect to experience frustration, confusion, and fatigue” (Quinalna, 2010, pp.3). Although online teaching and learning offers more flexibility it can be difficult to sit in front of a screen for hours at a time. Throughout my own time in college, I have had my fair share of fatigue and frustration with having to learn online, so I understand that these things happen and that sometimes students just need a break. In order to combat the fatigue, frustration, and confusion, I plan to have activities that students can print or write down on notebook paper, so they can step away from the screen and do some work with pencil and paper. This will allow the students to have less strain on their eyes, especially regarding blue light exposure. I also am concerned about how, “students who struggle in in-person classes are likely to struggle even more online” (Loeb, 2021). Although I recognize that learning virtually is not the right route for everybody I think it’s important to expose students to at least one online class throughout their academic career. Students will struggle with coursework no matter the format, it just depends on how the teacher decides to handle these struggles that is important.
4. What about online teaching and learning am I curious about and want to learn more about?
I am curious to learn about more technologies that I can use in my future virtual classroom. I know from personal experience that learning online is not an easy thing to do, and that not one thing works for everyone. For example, pre-recorded lessons are beneficial to students who can’t meet during the day, or have to miss a virtual lesson. However, these pre-recorded lesson plans can negatively impact students as well, because they are not able to ask questions right away. In the future I also want to learn more about how I am doing as an educator in my students eyes. In order to improve myself as an educator who teaches online I, “would communicate to students that their opinions matter” (Terada, 2020). When it comes to online teaching and learning I will always be wanting to learn more because technology is always changing which means my teaching style should change accordingly. As long as technology keeps evolving then there may be better ways to communicate lessons to future students. I am always wanting to further my own learning about how I can better use online resources for this online structure.
References: Course readings
Loeb, S. (2021, April 19). How Effective Is Online Learning? What the Research Does and Doesn't Tell Us (Opinion). Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/technology/opinion-how-effective-is-online-learning-what-the-research-does-and-doesnt-tell-us/2020/03.
Quinlan, A. M. (2010). 12 Tips for the Online Teacher. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(4), 28–31. https://doi.org/10.1177/003172171009200406
Mary F. Rice & Mark E. Deschaine (2020) Orienting Toward Teacher Education for Online Environments for All Students, The Educational Forum, 84:2, 114-125, DOI: 10.1080/00131725.2020.1702747
References: Self-Assigned readings
Flavin, B. (2019, July 8). 8 Myths About Online Learning: The Truth Behind the Screen. Rasmussen University. https://www.rasmussen.edu/student-experience/college-life/myths-about-online-learning/.
Harrington, C. & DeBruler, K. (2021). Key strategies for engaging students in virtual learning environments. Michigan Virtual University. https://michiganvirtual.org/research/publications/key-strategies-for-engaging-students-in-virtual-learning-environments/
Terada, Y. (2020, September 4). 5 Research-Backed Tips to Improve Your Online Teaching Presence. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/article/5-research-backed-tips-improve-your-online-teaching-presence.