I’ve never been good at writing blog posts–mostly because I can’t understand why anyone would want to listen to a word I say. Realistically, though, a blog is the best place for me to discuss all the things that run through my brainpan when it comes to school.
I am a student at Post University. I am also staff member, and faculty. I’ve hit the trifecta. Which is odd, because I never thought I would do all of these things. And it’s challenging, for a number of different reasons. Not the least of which is keeping my time managed properly–something I’m struggling to do.
However, there is one good thing about being an instructor AND a student–everything I learn in the class I take is one more thing I can incorporate into the class I teach. Who else gets to say that, really? We spent time the past few weeks discussing what online learning was really, and what made for a good online instructor–all helpful things for a first time online teacher to learn.
Last week was especially helpful–we read an article by Mark Pearcey, where he talks about being a high school teacher, who then went to school online, and became a history professor in college. He talked a lot about the challenges of being a teacher when the internet first became a “thing” back in the late 90s–how, as technology became more prevalent, he started integrating it into “planning and instruction” (Pearcey, 2014), and how toward the end he couldn’t imagine a world without it. This is something I can empathize with. I’ve had a computer for as long as I could remember–in fact, I remember very clearly when my parents bought a Gateway desktop (which was all the rage in ’94), and I used it to do homework and play on AOL with my friends.
Technology, it seems, has always been a part of my life–so it only makes sense that I go to college online and teach online. But there’s so much more to teaching online–and learning online–than I had ever thought before.
This week was handy. This week, we talked about how to build discussion board questions and how to use the Socratic Method to get more out of our students. It’s week 3–both of the class I teach and the class I take–and I’m only now just getting into the swing of knowing what to say to my students to elevate the conversation and get them talking. In the class I take, it’s easy. I’m concerned about professional speak, but not as concerned about someone taking something the wrong way, so I’m a bit more colorful with my classmates. For my students? I’m constantly afraid I’m going to say the wrong thing or I’m going to come across as more snarky than I mean to. It’s a constant balancing act, and I’m always afraid I’m going to fall. And, really, this is the biggest risk I’ve ever taken. Thank the fluffy gods I have good balance….mostly…