So far the tools that I feel are the most useful are all the features of office suites and we have discussed this at length. If I was an online/remote/distance setting teacher, which I’m not, these would be relied upon so heavily by me. Without them I really don’t know how we would go about things. How do you hand in an assignment, wait… how do you even create something without some form of platform like a word/google doc/ or PowerPoint/slides? There are other parties that make systems, which I’m sure would have to be adopted if there isn’t access to a suite. I guess a student could always create something physically and then take a picture of something and email it in with a description, but does that do something justice?
If I had to move to becoming a digital teacher, I firmly believe that I could do it with or without video meetings. Ex. zoom, google meets, teams, etc. While I could just post everything on a google classroom or on EDSBY for the students to follow along on their own, would that really work? It may work in the university setting for some, it has been debated in a couple different group discussions I’ve been in for this class, but I think elementary students and high school students would definitely struggle/wouldn’t always be on the ball/honest with following along. Heck, I know myself when I had to do university classes in my undergrad, I certainly took advantage of the system and did the bare minimum. I passed, but is that what we want for our students?
The counter to this would be using a zoom, google meet, etc. but is this also always the best option. When it comes to forming some kind of meaningful connection with a student I think it is highly important. The ability to just discuss things in person takes so much of the extra background work, like emails and waiting on responses, out of the picture. While I’m confident I could get things done the other way, I just don’t think it is conducive to the best learning environment. As discussed with my peers, we don’t think zoom meetings are necessarily the best, but they are certainly better than nothing.
A challenge I might face is not being able to reach all my students. Technology issues/availability aside, it is hard to tell online if everyone is engaged in the learning material. In class I can tell if someone is not paying attention or having a bad day and can adjust. Digitally this is difficult, not impossible, but is still such a pain in the butt. Not everyone has camera’s, it may be harder to pick up facial cues on the tiny boxes that show their face, and some are less likely to ask questions in the moment and send messages/emails later, which creates extra work.
All the models and examples used by the group that presented were fantastic, but I would prefer to use them alongside teaching in person. Not only would I feel like my teaching and the students learning would suffer, but I feel like my overall happiness/satisfaction with teaching would completely deplete and I would move onto something else. During the height of COVID many of my colleagues would rant about the frustration of online teaching. Admittedly, many were ill-equipped to be able to do this. a lack of knowledge and experience were definite causes of this, but again like me, most of them just preferred to be with the kids. There are multiple resources given to us by the group, but I still don’t think this would fill this void. The tools would work, I have no doubt about it, but while they work I just don’t think I would be happy in the environment. This is based off the experience that I already have had with it during COVID and taking digital classes through the university.
This post was more a reflection on my own feelings, so apologies for a lack of any links. This was certainly a deep dive into my own relationship with long-term digital learning.