How to Teach Online: Key Skills & Platforms
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Every career path has one important component: purpose. Having one means the energy behind waking up early in the morning to go to work, or the desire to keep learning uphill. In your case, perhaps that goal is to start teaching online.
If you have the desire to share your experiences and talk about what you are passionate about, and you are also a born researcher, your goal may be more closely related to online education than you think. This type of learning offers not only new formats but also new ways to connect and a flexible work perspective.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to the teaching skills every educator should have. With these skills, your students will not be interested in searching for “write me an essay” on the Internet. If education is your calling, we’ll show you some of the best platforms for teaching online.
Skills and Competencies in Education
First of all, one of the most important teaching skills, especially in this day and age, is the ability to use new technology effectively. This is also necessary if you want to teach online.
Technology in Education will function as a tool to enhance communication and dynamism in education through multimedia elements. It will also help systematize and streamline many processes, making life much easier for educators and students.
On the other hand, when introducing distance education, in almost all cases, it is necessary to know how to handle all the technological tools that allow using their potential for learning and communication at a distance. For example, mastery of programs such as Microsoft Office and mastery of online learning platforms.
Planning and Organization
Planning and organizing skills are key to developing the right program for students. This pedagogical skill is essential for any teacher because teaching in the classroom is much more than just reading a technical book aloud.
Planning and organizing, as an educational competency, requires first identifying students’ abilities and educational needs. It is then necessary to select appropriate content and effective resources, to determine in what order they will be applied and how they will be distributed in each lesson.
It is also necessary to know and understand all available resources and teaching techniques so that one knows how and when to apply each one. For example, you need to determine when is more effective for teamwork, one-on-one sessions, or group sessions.
Teachers need to be recognized as leaders. This means that teachers must be guides and facilitators of the learning process. Leaders are also responsible for engaging and guiding people by encouraging them to use their own abilities.
A teacher’s skills as a leader are to foster a desire to learn by giving meaning to new knowledge, offer diverse and dynamic activities that increase student interest, foster a climate that motivates learning, and give meaning to each student’s project.
In addition, while the teacher must represent authority in the classroom, it is essential that he or she convey confidence to the students. Through positive classroom leadership, the teacher chooses to work on communication, teamwork, and collaborative problem-solving.
Social-emotional skills are necessary for any profession. However, in the case of educator skills, they become more important because they are about the ability to communicate constructively with students.
Social-emotional skills are tools for managing our social and professional environment. As for teaching skills, they will help build a connection with students and make them feel engaged in the learning process. This will help them process new information more easily and meaningfully.
One of the most important teaching skills related to emotional intelligence is the ability to listen empathically. This consists of actively listening to students, showing interest, and reflecting on accompaniment.
Another example is the proper management of interpersonal relationships, as forming a comfortable environment through friendly interaction is important for creating a positive relationship between a teacher and his or her students. This will also increase our ability to cooperate.
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Communication is the foundation of teaching. Therefore, teachers must be able to express themselves clearly to communicate their thoughts more effectively to students through assertive communication techniques.
Above all, as educator’s task, we must make sure that we use terminology that is accurate and appropriate to the subject matter. In other words, educators must have sufficient knowledge of the subject matter to use appropriate technical language.
In addition, it is essential that the instructor’s reasoning be coherent, and orderly, and lead to a conclusion. On the other hand, it is necessary to indicate when one idea ends, and a new one begins. Finally, emphasis must be placed on central information.
As educators, we must make a distinction between explaining and teaching. The knowledge imparted through teaching is realized through interaction with students, i.e., a dialogue must be developed between the two subjects. For example, by asking questions about a topic.
The Best Platforms for Teaching Online
This is one of the first online teaching platforms that come to mind when we think of remote education. Google Classroom is an interactive Google platform created in 2014 and designed for education.
Google Classroom is a site with the ability to create classes, organize materials, grade students, create documents, assign homework, share learning materials, take notes, schedule meetings, and hold meetings through Google Meet.
The best part? Google Classroom is completely free. All you need is a Gmail account and you’re ready to start using the program to teach online. It will be your best ally in distance learning. It’s available online, and the app can be found on the App Store and Play Store.
This is a platform focused on improving teamwork with communication and collaboration features through Microsoft Office programs. While Microsoft Teams is not an online learning platform, it is a very useful tool for teaching and learning online.
The platform has both free and paid versions. Microsoft Teams will be a very good option for online classes because it allows audio and video calls between small and large groups of people. It also allows you to create and store Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, and other files. It also allows you to organize assignments and share screens and other learning materials.
This is a free learning platform. Moodle provides instructors and students with a unique and secure system for online learning. It was developed by a team of educators and psychologists to meet the needs of any institution or individual instructor.
Moodle is very easy to set up without extensive knowledge of software code. The online learning program can store documents, publish content, and manage users. It also has tools such as a calendar and chat.
The Moodle learning platform works online from any device: computers, tablets, and smartphones. It is also compatible with all operating systems.
Like Microsoft Teams, Zoom is not really a platform for the virtual classroom. However, it has become very popular in recent years because of its ability to host webinars with mass video calls.
Zoom offers audio and video calls that are high-definition and seamless. All you have to do is share a web link with the people you want to invite to a video conference, and they will get access to the meeting. The platform also has built-in chat, allows you to divide students into groups, and offers many other interactive features.
On the other hand, Zoom’s virtual platform is compatible with Moodle (formerly online learning software) and Canvas. If you’re already using one of these programs, Zoom may be your best bet for virtual classes.
Zoom has a free version that allows you to do one-on-one online classes with no time limit. But for sessions with groups of up to 100 participants, it offers meetings of no more than 40 minutes. It also allows you to record sessions, and you can stream them on Facebook Live or YouTube Live. Isn’t that amazing?
We hope this information has inspired you to start teaching online. Now you know what skills and platforms you need in order to teach online.
Being an educator is definitely not easy, and adapting to a remote environment is challenging, but we know you can succeed and become a great virtual teacher.
We wish you the best of luck along the way.