Thursday, 5 November 2020

Online learning for Teachers


Covid-19. Aah, the dreaded phrase. It has caused so much disruption to our day-to-day lives and we have had to learn to live with this dreaded disease. One of the things we have asked our students to get used to, is the idea of learning online. Zoom or Google Meet calls have become part of their routine. Learning looks and feels very different. Yet, if we're honest, most of them have dealt very well with all this change!


But what about Staff? How do we as teachers feel about the shoe being on the other foot and learning online? We expect our students to do it, and we do it, but how do we actually feel about it?


I for one am a big fan of the idea of a self-paced learning environment. I can do my learning in a space where I feel in control of when and how I learn. I can log in when I want to or need to, have a break when I want, and then resume when I feel ready.


When you give me the choice between attending a live webinar or just watching the uploaded video after the fact, I'm not sure which I prefer. I sometimes prefer to just watch the recap after the fact, but then I do not get the benefit of the interaction and the asking and answering of questions in real-time. Engaging with other like-minded people is surely part of what makes learning fun, no? Also, being committed to your own learning and attending in person definitely increases the "Rate of completion" of online courses - I know I have started a few that I still have to finish!


The bottom line, though, is that we have never before been in a situation where there is so much learning available online. We can attend PD sessions from the comfort of our own homes and many companies offer amazing training at a fraction of the cost of in-person sessions. Many conferences have gone exclusively online where we can listen to incredible speakers share their knowledge, and often these are completely free.


What is your take on this?


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