Online teaching has become popular due to the corona virus pandemic. What used to be considered elitist, esoteric and impractical, has become expedient, popular and most appropriate.
Online teaching is simply the mode of delivering structured lessons virtually, that is by employing technology to teach students at a distance.
Despite the novelty and ingenuity of this technologically mediated system of teaching, there are challenges the teacher should note.
1. Passivity/lack of control
With online teaching, the tendency for the teacher to observe passive dispositions of students is very high. Online teaching tools like Zoom and Google classroom provide teachers and learners real time feedback opportunities, but many students prefer to stay passive in class, refusing to respond even when the teachers call them by name.
As a result, most teachers get frustrated because they are limited by space to make such students active in class. This lack of control on the part of the teacher becomes a major challenge.
The usual prescribed time ratio in terms of lesson preparation is: for every 40 minutes lesson, a teacher needs to invest 4 hours of preparation. This is a tough call for many teachers who would rather spend thirty minutes preparing for their 40 minutes class. This is one of the reasons many teachers dread writing notes of lessons.
But the drama heightens with preparing for online lessons. Using Google classroom for instance, the amount of time needed to plan your lesson and make it engaging for the students is more than the prescribed 4 hours. Sometimes the teacher ends up spending quality time preparing slides, documents, audio and video recordings just for one lesson. It's usually draining.
It is crucial to spend more time preparing for online lessons because if your lessons are monotonous and boring, the students will leave your class in the twinkling of an eye.
3. Technical knowhow
Many teachers of the old school generation are having a hard time adjusting to this technologically mediated system of teaching. In fact, online schooling has compelled many teachers to realize how deeply deficient they are in the scheme of things.
Grappling with issues like downloading an application, preparing slides, going online etc. are terms that give some teachers the jitters. So, for computer illiterate teachers, online teaching is much more than a Herculean task.
Then comes the aspect of resources. It takes quite a lot to acquire devices e.g smart phones, laptops, notepads, etc. And after acquiring the devices, internet connectivity is a compulsory accessory: the teacher must subscribe data bundles every now and then to both prepare for lessons and deliver the lessons.
For many teachers who are tech savvy, this aspect of always buying data bundles without any support from the school administration is a real pain in the neck. The financial resources needed to effectively execute online teaching is truly neck breaking.
Another challenge for teachers is the level of technological advancement available. Network availability is a major clog in the wheel of progress. Many teachers have had their lessons ruined because of the unreliable network and internet connections. Some network providers are notorious for going offline for hours thereby frustrating their customers, some of whom are online teachers.
6. Low income
With online teaching, many teachers have decried the low income rate that comes their way. To start with, the number of students enrolling for online classes are not as encouraging as on ground classes. Only very few teachers are happy with the financial turn out of online teaching. Many are lamenting its poor remuneration virtues.
Despite all of these challenges, teachers are still encouraged to engage in the online classes as they seem the best option for their learners especially in this pandemic.
Please drop your comments and questions freely.
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