I wanted to make a post about the differences between teaching online and teaching in person.
For me, I love both methods of delivery and instruction because as challenging as it is to step in front of the room in front of a bunch of people, it can be just as challenging to engage those same students via technology.
I feel I am pretty adept at using technology to provide content and lessons across any medium. I would say this has only improved since I relaunched my business in July. Now I am using web based videos and looking into hosting teleseminars and more to help provide more and more content under The Next Step banner.
I have been teaching for (almost) 13 years and when I began teaching everything was done "outside" of technology. It was rare for you to email your students; if something changed and you needed to get a message to them, it had to be done in person (as in you would call security and have them put a sign up telling the class changes in schedule, etc). In 2003, we were just starting to use email methods of communication but even if you sent an email, there was no guarantee your students would read it because they more often than not had to log in to a desktop computer to even access those messages.
Over the last decade plus I have seen people move to more immediate ways of communication and though I took some online courses (asynchronous ones – meaning you could log in at any time to do the work) in 2008-2010, the way I launch and teach my online courses now just five short years later is much different and more robust and more student and teacher friendly.
When I was taking online courses for my DPS degree, the environment was kind of simplistic; just text answers and attachments allowed. Now, you can include video and make your PowerPoint files come alive with either Camtasia or Voicethread; you can actually make the classroom come alive via Moodle or Blackboard or whatever program you use for online delivery – heck, I feel I am making a classroom come “alive” by integrating video content into my site along with my blog posts. We have come a long way.
What do you think about online vs in-person learning? I will say that having an audience in front of you is very different to teaching to an "online" room. That being said, new technology is working on scanning and recognizing feelings by doing facial scanning and sending the information to the professor. This is interesting because I definitely use in person cues when presenting and teaching to figure out how people are feeling about the material. As I move forward with my seminars and other courses that I deliver both in-person and online, I look forward to learning from my audience and sharing the best information based on my lessons and curriculum.
Lisa Vento Nielsen