Online vs Face-to-Face Venn Diagram
Below I have created a Venn Diagram discussing the different features of both face to face and online teaching methods.
Students need to select a learning model that suits them; that allows them to become the person they want to be and the delivery of a course can be a major factor in how effectively the content is received. Learners of all ages now have a real choice in how they would best learn; in a way that takes into consideration time, money, flexibility, learning style, ability and this creates amazing opportunities.
If done well, any method of delivery can work. At the same time, a poor course can be just as painful to sit through offline as online! I would probably favour a blended approach as I believe that the teacher - in whatever capacity (mentor, coach, facilitator, lecturer) - can have a huge influence on students and much more of an influence as a real life, face to face human being.
After initially being extremely excited about the potential of online programs, I am realising that I have some concerns. Personally I think I would prefer to learn in a 100% online class as opposed to a brick and mortar classroom; I like the personalisation, the flexibility and the technology of such a course. I like the control it gives me as a student.
However - and I wasn't expecting this - I am wary about losing sight of what I see as being my main strength as a teacher - my presence in the classroom! I am realising (and will regret this brutal honesty!) that I enjoy the respect/attention/power I have over the students in my class in a face to face environment. I enjoy the interactions I have as a teacher; I enjoy seeing the reactions on their faces and playing on it; I like how, at the end of a school year, that a friendship has blossomed and will continue - I am still in contact with students I taught back in 1999. And above all all else, I love how rewarding it is seeing how I am changing lives a little at a time - in my small, insignificant way. These are the reasons I became a teacher... Anyway, back on track!
As a face to face teacher, I feel that I use a variety of ways to explore learning with my students but due to the nature of my subject and schedule limitations, I usually fall back on the demonstration method; I demonstrate how to complete the activity or skill and the students then put it into practice. This way of teaching would lend itself well to online learning and this has already started happening by creating Jing screencasts for when I am unavailable to teach. Students watch the video and then complete the task at hand.
As a specialist teacher where it is necessary for me to collaborate fully with the homeroom teacher so as to integrate technology across from the 'stand-alone' ICT session and into the classroom, my role is often to facilitate further learning back in the classroom; to be a facilitator as well as a delegator. Once again, these are two instructional methodologies that would transfer themselves into the online world.
Part of my current role - and the part I really enjoy - is keeping abreast of new developments and new web tools to support learning and I think being able to pick out the best and most applicable tools for the job would be a huge part of developing an online program. Flexibility is also essential since even though free tools are always available, they change constantly and this requires adaptability and patience.
So in conclusion, it seems that my fears in the second paragraph are unfounded, the way I currently teach in a face to face classroom, and the skills & strategies that I currently use, could easily be mirrored in an online or blended environment. I still need to figure out how to ensure that connections are made between myself and the online students as I strongly believe that human interaction is key.
This certification is - honestly - my first official attempt at a structured external course (online or otherwise), since University 14 years ago! I have attended workshops and PD days but have avoided traditional ‘Professional Development’ – including starting my Masters – because I seriously believe that my professional reading, my online subscriptions, my Google Plus and my personal experiences inside the classroom with real students and teachers – SO my ‘Personal Learning Network’ – keeps me in the loop with all the things that I am passionate about; namely education and the use of technology as a valuable tool to access, share and present learning.
I don’t want the focus to be on the piece of paper – the certification – at the end. I want to learn and extend my learning in practical and meaningful ways. I want to be encouraged to try new things and use new tools and look to the future rather than the theories of past experts that may not be as relevant as they once were.
This course was meant as a tester in a multitude of ways. Can I cope with the extra work and time commitment while balancing my time with two children and a demanding (!!) wife? Can I still be the teacher I want to be – and am expected to be by my colleagues – with the added commitment of an online course? Can an online course really embrace future technologies and keep me enthusiastic about learning? And am I really ready to start my Masters?!
I love finding new ways to make learning accessible and fun for students and fellow teachers and I get motivated by spending time with like-minded individuals – who are passionate about sharing their love of technology. This course seems to give me both and for the first time in 14 years I am itching to get back into (online) classroom as a learner rather than a teacher.
Quietly excited... :)
2. Online vs. face to face Venn Diagram
3. Collaborative Presentation of Web2.0 Tools
4. Designing an online discussion
5. Establishing an Accessible Social Presence
6. Designing a comprehensive Assessment Plan
7. Online Course Syllabus
8. Reflection: iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Teaching
Hello, I am Tony Potts, the Director of Digital Learning, PK-12 ICT Coordinator, ICT teacher and technology integration specialist at GEMS World Academy, Dubai. Please feel free to ask me ANY questions...