OK. I am going to take away the main affordance you are using while teaching online – you can no longer use video or audio to teach.
Think about it. The only way you know how to teach is in person, broadcasting your thoughts and knowledge, engaging in full view so to speak.
But let us say for a moment that you cannot.
When you can’t get up there, online, and direct your class with your physical presence, how would you conduct your class?
It turns out that teaching and learning can equally happen, and quite effectively, without this video “broadcast”. Video interactions may still exist, but may be used more for collaboration rather than lecturing (say).
That’s because you have an army of tools and techniques available online to help you teach. Many teachers who teach online use a mixture of online content (videos, articles, eBooks etc.); social networks such as Facebook; tools such as youtube, cloud storage and even email; any number of experts across the world and interaction tools like Kahoot and Kialo.
Kahoot allows you to play interactive games (rather quizzes of different question types) with your students. Using Kahoot you can get together at a given time and spend time solving questions and issuing live challenges – quite a lively and energetic thing to do for your class.
You can also do complicated intellectual exercises with online tools. Take for instance Kialo. Kialo allows you to pose debatable propositions and capture competing arguments from your students. Arguments can be broken down into sub-arguments and so on.
The same tool can be use to write essays, which branch out to cover multiple arguments / propositions. Students can comment and provide evidence of their thinking at each level. Instead of running a debate for a few minutes in class, debates like this could take a full week or more with students participating asynchronously.
And then live interaction through social media or networked channels (even private groups on social networks or private messaging apps like Whatsapp) works well too – whether synchronous for periods of time, or continuously ongoing like a flow.
There is this chatter of learning, happening all the time, as the space between students and teachers, the learners and the learned, continuously collapses. Learning then truly becomes a conversation.
I once spent three glorious months like this. It changed the way I looked at learning and teaching. This was the first Massive Open Online Course – CCK08. And you only have to look at the depth of interaction in that ‘course’ to see how extremely dense the knowledge concentrated in those months was.
So folks, while you did start with live video lectures, if you remove that dimension, you can still be teaching as effectively, if not more. But a number of other things also will change in this new paradigm.
Interested in knowing more? Watch out for the next post!