As we stand at the cusp of revolutionary technological advancements, the very definition of teaching is slowly seeing a change. The teachers of tomorrow can no longer replicate what their teachers did back in their days. We have to be relevant and keep up with the times in order to be teachers of tomorrow.
The context of modernizing education is directly tied to online education. Online education as a concept is not very recent, but the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 brought it to the mainstream. As teachers or would-be teachers, it’s important for you to know the ins and outs of online education.
What is online education?
It’s natural to assume that everyone is aware of what online education is. However, we often think talking classes via Zoom is all there is to online education. In reality, it’s much more than taking lessons over a video calling app.
Online education refers to a method of educating students remotely. Zoom and other video conferencing apps are only a small component of it. The bigger challenge is to design a curriculum that matches the limitations and opportunities of online education.
Preparing for online education
Preparation for online education happens in various stages. The first stage is always to know who the students are. Video conferencing plays an important role here.
However, video conferences are not the only possible way to know your students. Here’s something that you can do before a session begins to know your students better — send them a survey to fill out. Make it fun and informal, so that the students are eager to fill it out. Once that’s done, you’ll know more about the students than you would have from online classes alone.
You can use the same idea to come up with different ways to know the students. Communication is the biggest challenge of online education. Once you have figured out a way to eliminate obstacles in communication, taking online classes will feel much less impersonal.
Another important preparatory step is to familiarize yourself with technology. Technical skills are no longer a specialization that only a few people have. Today you have to be technology literate, no matter what you do for a living. If you do not do anything, there are tons of resources on the internet that can help you.
That was all about the present. Now, let’s look into the future of online education.
What will online education look like in the coming years?
Predictions are almost always wrong. At the same time, we need to make predictions to prepare for the future. In the context of online education, this means being able to see where the world is going in terms of adapting to and adopting online education.
While we cannot be certain about a lot of things, it’s certain that online education will be much more prevalent going forward. During the Covid-19 pandemic, online education was forced upon us due to the circumstances. Going forward, we can expect people to adopt online education more willingly. There are several reasons behind it:
- Online education is accessible
- It’s possible to go at your own pace with several online courses
- It breaks down the barriers of academic disciplines to a great extent
- Online education is often cheaper than offline education
The importance of teachers
Teaching is set to be one of the most important professions in the coming years. It has always been an important civil profession, but now it’s moving more towards a professional field. Online teaching certification institutions are now preparing teachers for a career in teaching with professional certification.
Teaching as we know it will cease to exist sooner than we think. We no longer need to go to a teacher to know about something. One Google search will tell us more than what 10 teachers could.
However, the problem is that Google cannot make you understand things and talk to you about perspective, insight, bias, and so on. That’s where the importance of teachers comes in. The word teacher is no longer relevant – they are more of mentors, coaches, or guides.
As a result of this change, the way teachers are trained is also changing. Teaching is now no longer something that an untrained person can do. You need to know specific teaching skills that align with the latest developments in child psychology. If all you have is knowledge and information, you are not bringing something new to the table.
Online education is changing in more ways than we can imagine. It’s the need of the hour to train teachers to be able to adapt to this changing education landscape. That’s why teachers now need professional certification courses more than ever. It’s not just the certificate that’s important. It’s the skills you learn that allow you to excel as a teacher in any situation.