We are in a temporary transition, which calls for us to react with certain considerations in mind. First things first, it’s important to understand the clear differences in education when using technology.
We’re going to define the different teaching experiences you can have and analyze the considerations we should have when engaging our students in each one.
Now, let’s review some of these learning environments to understand the main differences.
“Face-to-face learning is an instructional method where course content and learning material are taught in person to a group of students.”
In a face-to-face teaching environment teachers can easily create a rapport with students and implement classroom management strategies easily by physical location of students, groupings, etc. In this kind of teaching environment it’s important to consider the classroom environment with things that will engage students, motivate them to participate, and promote collaborative and active learning. It could be said that doing these activities are easier in a physical classroom, where you can use tone of voice, physical prompts set up in the classroom, or even body language.
“Blended learning combines classroom learning with online learning, in which students can, in part, control the time, pace, and place of their learning.”
Blended learning takes one the best of both worlds and promotes autonomous learning, as well as scheduled encounters or interactions with students.
“Online learning results from careful instructional design and planning, using a systematic model for design and development
There are nine dimensions that offer levels of complexity and alternatives for teachers. These are modality, pacing, student-instructor ratio, pedagogy, instructor role online as well as student role online, online communication synchrony, role of online assessments, and finally source of feedback” https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/3/the-difference-between-emergency-remote-teaching-and-online-learning
Online learning involves a highly prepared learning environment that is set up so students can learn on their own and participate or collaborate using different spaces like forums. This kind of education requires an LMS, Learning Management System, that can track students progress and allow online teachers to give feedback. There are many variations of online education, but they all have the above-mentioned characteristics in common.
Now, let’s move on to the one that we should be focusing on during this crisis, which is remote teaching.
Remote Learning “occurs when the learner and instructor, or the content, are separated by time and distance and therefore cannot meet in a traditional classroom setting. Information is typically transmitted using technology, be it email, discussion boards, video conference, or audios so that no physical presence in the classroom is required.”
Emergency remote teaching (ERT) “refers to a temporary shift of instructional delivery to an alternate delivery mode due to crisis circumstances.”
Many teachers are struggling to transition into an online teaching environment, when in reality it really comes down to determining the best delivery mode for your students. Here are some ideas to consider on the connectivity considering they have a device available like a computer or laptop.
Students don’t have internet access at all
Students have access to internet for brief moments during the day
Students have stable access for up to 2 hours daily
Students have stable access 2 or more hours a day
Note: As you move lower on the chart, you can continue using the aforementioned activities
If the students don’t have any device available:
- Make an alliance with a local radio station to offer the students their lessons at specific times of the day.
- Print the activities and organize a distribution network, for students to work independently.
- Create a learning hub in your community so students can pass by with the safety considerations to pick up and drop off learning material.