Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Teaching Online:Time Management

I am currently teaching a practicum class online and we run a virtual school program. I am learning a lot of things and want to share some tips along the way.

After observing a lot of the teachers, all of them have the same concern about time management.

It seems like everything takes longer online than in person.

I notice that teachers take longer with their introduction than it would normally take in a classroom. It is harder to tell if the students understand what concept the teachers are trying to introduce.

Once the introduction is over, the teachers start teaching the new skill. Usually they start by modeling the skill they want the student to learn. It is hard to model the skill and notice if the students are paying attention. Plus, many parents are in the background using the phone or watching TV which can be very distracting for the student. Even if the teacher mutes all participants on the Zoom meeting, the child is still distracted by what is going on in their own home. After modeling, the teacher checks for understanding which seems to take longer also. If a student doesn’t understand, the teacher explains the skill again. Again, it is hard to check that the student actually understands.

The next step is for students to practice the skill with the teacher. Allowing each student to try the skill online takes more time than if the students are doing it at their desks while the teacher walks around and checks progress.

After the students practice the skill with the teacher’s guidance, they move on to independent work. The students complete the practice and the parents take a picture of the completed work to email the teacher. If the students have made several errors, it is hard to wait until the next class meeting to review the errors and correct them.

One suggestion I have is to write out the procedures in a numbered list. For younger children you can color code each step. After each step, do the step on an example and use the color of step so it will be easy to match the example with the written step. This can be sent to the student before the lesson so they can use it as a reference.

I think this process would make it easier for the student to follow and it will be helpful for the parents to help their child. I think it will also save time so the student will have a visual aid to follow.

I think teachers should also plan on more than one day to teach a new concept online. They should plan on students needing at least 2 – 3 class periods to learn a new concept online.

How do you deal with time management online? Please share.

Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash

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