Welcome to my World - The Future of Teaching is in the Present

Welcome to my world.

The world is not perfect. We have seen that with the Covid-19 pandemic that forced us to pause in all of our normal routines. We have seen this in the way schools in Europe suffered outbreaks, and in the UK where several universities' halls of residences were under different types of lockdown.

This led many schools to turn to online teaching solutions and with that the differences from learning onine came to light.

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Face-to-face teaching will never be the same as online teaching, and it will never disappear, but the precautionary argument that we needed to reduce human contact for a while also meant creating a new learning environment for millions of children around the world.

The digital answer was to use platforms such as Skype and Zoom, as with both it is possible to have more than one student in attendance. Although individual classes are equally an option and can be very beneficial for student/teacher engagement.

I have taught in both styles of class - a virtual classroom with 10 children using a split screen view and also one-to-ones. I find both have their positives and negatives, but then I find that with all forms of teaching - nothing is perfect in this world.

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Virtual classroom

With a virtual classroom it can be great to have enough of the children engaged so that they lead the class and this is a huge positive.

A negative is that it is very difficult to provide extra help to those students who struggle in the class and as a consequence those children can be left trailing behind.

One-to-one classes

With one-to-one classes I love the fact that you have close to the full attention of the student to the teacher and vice versa. Communication is estimated to be around 20-30% verbal, so the rest has to be visual and this helps a great deal when dealing with language learners. Visual gestures and images drawn from the internet are great aids in teaching.

The drawback is that sometimes it is difficult to take notes as a teacher or student, so it is essential that we provide a copy of the class video and/or chat afterwards.

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It may seem strange as it is only after a global pandemic that a majority of young people and parents thought about online learning , but I have been teaching using the internet for nearly 10 years and have found the digital teaching tools available to us changing and improving over that time. It is now a lot more fluid and easier to provide interesting and engaging lessons to people from all over the world at their preferred times than it was a few years ago. That's for sure.

As for saying that the world is not perfect, I say look at the present and how the world seems to be shunning the digital learning option for the moment. However, as recent times have shown teaching needs to be embracing this new reality if it hopes to be able to survive in the future.

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