Is it possible for a public school teacher to teach his/her students online?
There are many opportunities for teaching online classes without leaving the comfort of your home. Although, most positions are reserved for adjunct professors and tenured college professors. “AT home” teaching has not vested much interest in the public sector. The reasons are numerous and contentious. Union contracts, school boards, and fellow teachers all have a say when it comes to online education, much less teaching online courses from home. The dream of many secondary educators need to be put on hold a while, perhaps indefinitely.
Can it be done? Of course, technology has been brought up to speed, band widths extended, hardware and software are reliable now. Through different formats the teacher could even be “present” by using one of various VOIP services. And as most secondary online courses are taken in blended classes where each student is working on an individual course, discipline and disruptions are kept at a minimum. Also, the LMS will not allow a student to progress unless I unlock the assignment for them. The students usually just send me an email. Assignments and discussion questions are also emailed to me. Our room runs completely paperless. Throw in a long term sub and I’ll have my coffee, monitor my class, and spend the day watching ID.
However, I have warned colleagues that as purveyors of this technology, and even though we should ensure its growth, it is we who are also responsible for its unrestrained growth. Too many talented Instructional Designers coupled with ambitious school systems have essentially put the technology before the student. To paraphrase something said by a Ph. D. who teaches online classes, “In twenty years all college classes will be online.” Hmmm. Did someone forget that one of the most important reasons for “going” to college was to develop a social skill set, assimilation?
So, yes it is possible. But the relaxed atmosphere of teaching from home presents one undeniable truth. You are robbing the children you have sworn to educate of their most invaluable resource. You.
I began a career in broadcasting working on radio stations in Maryland, Delaware and Iowa. At some point I began reading novels to occupy my down time and before I knew it there was a book in my pocket everywhere I went. I was climbing through the radio ranks when the thought of teaching popped into my head. A fresh degree in English Literature in hand, I began a teaching career. While teaching English I finished my first Masters in Instructional Technology. I moved from the English classroom to Apex Coordinator, an online virtual classroom made available to our county through the America's Alliance Foundation. Now I am working on my second Masters in Instructional Systems Design.Website: www.linkedin.com/pub/russ-elburn/61/165/55b