Teaching with New Technology
The Technological Challenges of Remote Teaching
Unstable internet connectivity. Lack of knowledge about how to use tools for conducting online classes. Fear of sounding uninspiring.
When it comes to E-learning, there are multiple challenges that teachers have to face. Many teachers are now teaching E-classes that require the intensive use of technology.
This is creating a lot of stress in their lives as they learn to use the tools and simultaneously continue to create interesting lessons.
The Technological Challenges of Remote Teaching
For ages, we have depended on classroom-based teaching methodology to impart education to our children. Teachers play a pivotal role in dissipating knowledge in this system, which depends on physical interaction. However, the recently we have been forced to shift to remote learning that poses several challenges.
Apart from coping with the pressures of working from home and using a new platform to teach, they are struggling with the technical aspects also. They have to get accustomed to teaching their subjects online, use different software and tools, and ensure that the lessons are appealing to students.
In virtual education, technology plays such a huge role that most teachers feel intimidated. Some of them are unable to use the tools properly, some face network issues, and for some, delivering lectures to a screen is very scary.
At this juncture, no matter virtual or hybrid, teachers need to embrace online tools and applications to make the best of it.
How to Navigate Technology & Enjoy Teaching
Everyone is not tech-savvy, and there is nothing wrong with that. Moreover, we can learn more and update our knowledge at any time. With school closures and hybrid teaching creating havoc in our lives, most teachers are under stress to learn some new technology.
There are ways to tackle the menace of technology and shine as a teacher. You just have to look at things from the right perspective.
First, accept the reality — remote teaching is here to stay, and we need to accept that in our lives. Also, you are not alone in your anxiety about technology. Most people find using new technology more overwhelming than filing taxes and more than 72% of the population prefer someone else teach them rather than having to learn it on their own.
Secondly, don’t try to be perfect — Don’t stress about being perfect when it comes to technology. What matters more is how you are connecting with your students. You may not know about the latest apps and tools, but if you are sincere in bridging the gap, your students will notice.
Third, except help from students — Most students know how to use online apps and software better than their teachers. Seek their assistance, and they will be more than willing to share their knowledge with you. Sharing your fears with your students and helping each other will create a strong emotional bond that will make remote teaching more fruitful.
Fourth, use a mix of media — If being on the computer screen makes you uncomfortable, pre-record short Loom videos of your presentations, lectures or projects. Mix the Loom videos with online teaching, debates, quizzes, and group discussions so that the students will have synchronous and asynchronous opportunities to learn. Students will enjoy this mix, and you can tackle your anxiety about being on camera.
Lastly, stop feeling overwhelmed — If you continue to worry, remind yourself that your students are also feeling anxious. So, push aside anxieties about technology and really try to enjoy your classes. Talk to the students, ask them what they like about online learning. Listen to their opinions and apply what they enjoy. And together you and your students will get through these hard times.
There is no need to worry about teaching virtually. You will get a grasp of the tools with time. Keep your motivation high and let your confidence soar knowing that you are a resilient educator in changing times.
Background Dennise Heckman has been teaching & coaching since 1996. She majored in illustration at the Savannah College of Art & Design & holds a Master of Education (M.Ed.) from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (2003). She has a Permanent Teachers Certification in Art Education K-12 (1996). After teaching English As A Second Language for many years, she now holds a 120 Hour TEFL certification in ESL (2018). She studied acting at Wiest Barron School of Acting in NYC & is a speaker with Innovation Women. Dennise's teaching experience includes public schools in Pennsylvania, global online platforms, private institutions, informal settings, summer camps, literacy centers, and even the site where the Wright Brothers took their first flight.