Friday, April 1, 2016

Branching Out

I can’t believe it is April already! It seems like we are moving into the “crazy” time of the school year—too much to do, too little time left. How do teachers keep on an even keel and move learning forward for students? In the world of online learning, it seems to be “crazy town” all the time. Online students think/expect their work to be evaluated instantly, the moment they submit it; think the instructor is “online” all the time and can claim “technological difficulties” as an excuse for not doing the required assignments on time. But, as an online instructor, it is still a very rewarding way to teach. Teaching online provides flexibility of when and where you teach.

So, what characteristics do online instructors need to possess in order to be successful? In my opinion, passion for what they are doing online is essential. If you like what you do, then you will do your best for the students. It does mean being online a lot—more than you ever imagined. Online teachers need a combination of technical skills, facilitation skills, and managerial skills.  It is a 24/7 learning environment and keeping up with the technology can become frustrating.

Before you decide to become an online teacher, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will I miss having face-to-face interaction with my students?
  •  Do I have the computer skills necessary to teach an online course?
  • Am I willing to learn new teaching strategies?
  • Do I have excellent time management skills?
  • Do I have a quiet place where there is a computer to work on my class work?
  • Am I a good group facilitator?
  • Am I willing to give prompt feedback to students who are in a 24/7 class?
  • Am I willing to invest the extra time that it takes to teach an online course?

So, if you are thinking teaching online may be a good fit for you, then check out how to become an instructor for AEA PD Online. Go to our website at and click on the Instructor Toolbox tab. Read the AEA PD Online Instructor Handbook first. It outlines the policies and procedures for our online instructors.  And, send me an email or give me a call. I would be happy to talk with you and get you started.

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

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