Friday, November 8, 2013

Teacher Skills in a Virtual Education Environment: Part II

Following up from the last post, the skills that teachers must possess are similar to those found in the brick and mortar schools except for one difference that is peculiar to the online education  environment. In the brick and mortar school teachers must work within the constraints of the school's time and organization. Within the online education environment, time is not crushed into the dutiful eight hour segments in order to fulfill the teaching mandate that you have been given. I do know that educators often put in more hours daily than what is required but even within those extra hours the constraints exist. Teachers in the online environment have a greater freedom in organizing how they use their time than that possessed by the brick and mortar school teacher.
As a result of this freedom, teachers need to have refined the skill of time management as it applies on a global scale.
Here is a question for teachers in the brick and mortar environment: How much time do you spend daily on innovation and refinement of the lessons you teach? How much time daily do you devote to upgrading your skills? Teachers in an online environment must have the skills to pursue these two goals daily because of the changing nature of the online environment.
To that end, teachers in online education should belong to "online communities". Google makes available such communities to educators. Discerning which of the myriad communities you should belong to the real test of your skills. Belonging to such communities enables you to daily share ideas and receive ideas from educators all over the world. One of the important points that should be made concerning such communities is that you should always be wary of how much time such communities are devoted to the social aspects of dealing with people that you have things in common with.
Teachers in an online education environment should be able to develop networks with other groups of interest. 

More later....

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