“Teachers are the backbone of any country, the pillar upon which all aspirations are converted into realities”~Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Teaching is an art that makes a student a proper and responsible citizen of a country. And teachers are without a doubt the most important members of our society. A child grows by what he/she learns at a young age and teachers can influence the children to become great leaders of the world. There are many instances where teachers have even been role models for many great personalities.
A profession of such high value needs to be handled with care. Many people aspire to become great teachers but fear the challenges that come in their way. Without trying to find solutions, they back off from this path. For such people, this guide will help you.
This post talks in detail about the various tools that can help you as an online teacher along with the different pedagogies that have sprouted to create an engaging learning ecosystem.
Tools required in online teaching
The prerequisites for online teaching does not end with writing good content and framing an amazing syllabus. It also depends on how effectively you present it to your audience. For example, some tutors like to show their faces on the camera to facilitate live interactions while some always show the slides. Some combine the two and constantly switch between their own video and slides while explaining concepts.
Whatever method you choose, the thumb-rule is to offer a great learning experience to the students and ensure that they never feel bored in your classes.
Now the million-dollar question – How does one produce this immersive experience?
This is where several tools come in handy. The tools could be both hardware and software. The following are some of the key tools that play a key role in delivering an effective learning experience –
In terms of hardware, you need to have a camera supported on a tripod. The tripod is essential to avoid any quality issues by ensuring that the camera is stationary. The camera can be a DSLR or even your mobile camera. But try to invest in a high-quality video camera, it will help especially if you plan to teach for a long time. If you choose a camera that supports HD quality, then it might help in producing a clearer picture of you or your working on the board so that the students can understand concepts better.
Apart from this, the headphone and mic play a key role. Noise is always an interruption to classes. To avoid it, it is advisable to use a shotgun mic or a lapel mic that can cancel the noise to a great extent. And if possible conduct the classes in a closed room so that external disturbances are suppressed.
Some teachers prefer using a digital stylus to write on the screen. This is another modern technology that not only gives a real feel of writing on a blackboard but is also affordable and adds a stylish touch to your classes.
LMS is the key software used by most e-learning tutors. LMS helps to create, conduct, and also sell your courses. Apart from LMS, other software like Powerpoint can be used to create slideshows. Videomaker apps can be used to create animations of concepts that aid in better understanding. And classes can also be taken via conferencing apps like Zoom or Google Meet.
Pedagogies that are followed in taking online classes
E-learning reached great peaks with the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time many people started looking for new ways to impart e-learning. Various pedagogies were then developed to finetune the process of online education. Here are some of them –
Blended learning is an amalgamation of online interactions and study materials with classroom teaching. It is a collaborative approach where the students learn from each other’s experiences and build a practice of learning through questioning. Also in blended learning, the students and the teacher are part of highly interactive sessions with a focus on solving problems, brainstorming activities, quizzes, and so on. Course materials are provided and the students learn the concepts beforehand. All these make the classes highly interesting and offer a great learning experience to the students.
Millions of videos and documents are available on the internet which becomes an ocean of resources for online learning. The sources of these videos and documents could be YouTube, Linkedin, Wikipedia, etc. On top of this, thousands of Open Educational Resources are available that are specific course materials related to your subject which can even be downloaded for free. Many online tutors guide the students towards such OERs to enhance their knowledge in a subject. When students can access such a wide variety of materials, the dependence on a teacher is reduced and his/her role is reduced to just clarifying doubts and providing guidance to the students.
With most of the students having access to devices like mobile phones and tablets, mobile learning has gained great prominence these days. Mobile Learning is also quite useful for working students who can access the videos anytime anywhere, helping them to manage their classes and office. Most of the LMSs including Learnyst support mobile learning in multiple ways.
The way students are assessed has changed dramatically with the advent of online learning. Most LMSs these days have analytics integrated into the course which automatically evaluates the performance and also gives tips for improvement.
Using video-conferencing tools is another way to facilitate e-learning, and probably the oldest method. Video conferencing apps allow you to take your classes to live and have direct interaction with your students. Screen sharing, video recording, and chatbox are some salient features of most of these apps. But most of these videoconferencing apps have lost their following due to various challenges.
Challenges with video conferencing tools for online classes
Video conferencing applications had found profound uses in online classes in the past. In fact, it was unimaginable to conduct an online class without tools like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet. But recently it has slowly started getting replaced by LMSs. The most important factor that led to this change in user preference was the cost. Take the case of Zoom. If you are using the free version of this app, your student count is limited to a certain number that too for a certain time. If you have a good number of students to teach, then you will end up shelling a large sum for it. This might not be affordable for everyone and your profits might take a hit.
Another important reason is the lack of various advanced features like assessments, textual content, gamification, etc. which is important to engage the students and guarantee a great learning experience.
What the tutors need is a cost-effective platform that can help them to conduct the classes seamlessly. The classes should also be affordable and scalable. Support for advanced features like mobile learning, assessments, etc should be there. This is where a platform like Learnyst can help.
How Learnyst can help?
Learnyst can help all those passionate tutors who wish to make a change in the teaching system through their plethora of features. Learnyst effortlessly combines synchronous and asynchronous methods of teaching to help you create the learning experience that your students always wanted.
It not only lets teachers and students interact in live classes(synchronous) but also helps you to store your lessons and let your students access them whenever they want (asynchronous). On top of it, you can manage your entire online classes from your own website. The encryption modes and security systems are technically sound that poses no hindrance to your classes. Learnyst also has an advanced team of technical personnel who can solve your issues and queries thereby offering a seamless teaching experience.
Want to know more about how Learnyst can help you enhance your teaching experience? Join our community of e-tutors by signing up with Learnyst.
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