So You Want to Be (or already are) an Online Educator?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by catnfiddle, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 6, 2014

    I loved teaching the background for TKAM. We talked a lot about Emmett Till and the Scottsboro boys. Very interesting!
     
  2. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Aug 12, 2014

    My biggest question is the possibility to work from home as an online teacher. I live in California, but am only currently credentialed in Arizona.

    Any knowledge on being able to teach remotely?
     
  3. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Aug 12, 2014

    I am teaching remotely, but I am required to go onsite for in-service and PD. Luckily, that is only about an hour drive for me. I know a lot of colleagues who work across the state from our main office (6-8 hours) and the school makes hotel arrangements for in-service days.
     
  4. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Aug 12, 2014

    There are companies out there who hire online SLPs, so I'd love to do that in the future.

    Regarding my own schooling, I'm in an online grad program right now & love it. Before that, I took part in an online SLPA program & before that, I took some undergrad courses online. The schools I took all of these from are all B&M (brick & mortar) state universities.
     
  5. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Aug 14, 2014

    CatnFiddle--do you feel like the grading is more of your time than the actual teaching? Because my classes are a blend of synchronous and async, I am worried about just being a grading machine and not experiencing teaching as I know it.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Aug 16, 2014

    Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I was taking the week before Convocation to go camping.

    In a way, grading IS actual teaching in an asynchronous environment. I give very detailed feedback to all assignments and, starting this year, will include videos of reteaching when needed. Yep, I will put myself on camera explaining the material and leave it in the student's dropbox. Think of yourself as a teacher in a flipped classroom. Much of your live instruction is going to be reviewing what the students have already read, checking for understanding, and correcting their slight mistakes.
     
  7. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2014

    Thanks. Thinking of it as a flipped classroom opens up a lot of ideas :)

     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Aug 26, 2014

    Wow, what a week, and it's only Tuesday! My class roster was all the way up to 241 students but has ebbed back down to 220, and most likely will to continue to drop. Because I'm in a year-long course and most of my school is on block scheduling, I won't get many late transfers.

    Technology is our friend in the virtual classroom, but I am fighting mine to a certain extent. My school switched from WebEx as our live classroom platform back to Blackboard Collaborate. I haven't used Elluminate in years, so I'm pulling a lot of information from the back of my brain to the front. In addition, I'm supposed to implement Study Island in my class starting next week. I've never used it and haven't really had training on it. Thankfully, the school has mentors who help even the vets like me.

    The kids are amazing. So far, only one student has broken a major rule (no exchanging phone numbers or emails address) in my class. That gets his chat suspended for a day on a first offense. Hopefully, that will be the end of that.

    How is everyone else doing?
     
  9. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Aug 26, 2014

    We haven't officially started yet--Meet the Teacher this week and so far I have 8 of 80 kids show up to check in. From what I hear that is pretty standard for HS.
    I have 165 students so far--yipes! A lot of the mini-quizzes are auto-graded and then the data is pulled and sent to me so that should help with grading.

    We use Collaborate and Elluminate too---Plan seems a little confusing!
     
    BessKnees likes this.
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Aug 26, 2014

    I am still remembering how to work Plan. When I do, I will post the instructions here.
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 4, 2014

    ACK! Here's an occasional gadfly in online teaching; my classroom site has crashed. Every classroom has crashed. It's like we're all stuck in the hallway because some prankster put glue in the doorknobs so we can't use our keys. It usually happens in the first couple of days, so I'm impressed that it took two weeks for the first system failure.
     
  12. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Sep 6, 2014

    We had some crashes this week with Collaborate too. Nothing that affected me but a lot of kids had problems.
     
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 6, 2014

    We've started creating a new Collaborate link each day. It's what seems to keep it from crashing. My only major annoyance with Collaborate is that I cannot find a way to get transcripts of the chat when we aren't recording. Had some questionable student conversation I'd like to investigate. I could do that with my old live teaching platform.
     
  14. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Sep 8, 2014

    Hi - I hardly ever visit these forums anymore (A LOT has changed since 2008 in my newbie teacher days when I first found this place and it was a god-send! :)), but catnfiddle - you're awesome. It's nice to see you as the resident virtual teacher expert on these boards.

    I too teach at a K12 school and occasionally receive PMs for people asking about my experiences which brings me back to this site. I used to teach CAVA (California Virtual Academy) for 5 years, but this year just switched to the K12 International Academy, which is the private school that uses K12 curriculum. So being on my second K12 school, I can tell you that there's even quite a few differences between these two schools.

    I can't promise that I'll be super active on this thread, but I'll try to pop in now and then to answer questions, give advice, and share my experiences as well. :)
     
  15. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Sep 8, 2014

    Hi Sunflowers, I don't know if you ended up getting the job or not, but I will answer this question anyway for others who might be curious.

    As far as kids at home and teaching online - it can be done, depending on your position and requirements, but it can also be difficult. It really just depends. However, since I'd say that the majority of CAVA are mothers with young kids at home, know that the home/work balance is something that you won't be alone on!

    When I first started working at CAVA, things were a little more flexible and many teachers worked with their kids at home. But over the years, as the requirements changed, I feel like more and more teachers needed to have at the very least some part time childcare help. K-8th teacher have to go out and meet with families in person quarterly, so you'd definitely need childcare for that, but I'm not sure if HS teachers had to meet in person? You will need to have something planned for when you're teaching live classes though. You may be able to arrange things during naptime, but you might be assigned to teach in a different time slot.

    When my now 3yo was born, I hired a girl to help at home with me for a few hours each day, BUT I was teaching live classes 4 hours day and could not have juggled both a baby and teaching. The next school year my husband was working from home at the time and so he'd have our daughter in the mornings and I'd have her in afternoons and let him work.

    The requirements are a bit different here at K12 Int'l Academy, and my daughter has now started a T/Th preschool so I'm able to manage by working around naptimes or after bedtime, or independent play time (oh and we now have a 4 mo. old boy added to the mix as well :) ) and don't need additional childcare.

    So yeah, you may end up needing a part time nanny. It really just depends on the duties of your specific job and school. I wish I could help more. :(
     
  16. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Sep 9, 2014

    Cat, can you set your options to auto-record? We record every session, even our office hours! What a pain to have to send out a new link for each session.

    I am frustrated with anything that is an "extra" in Collaborate. My Plan files load fine and the kids can see/use the whiteboard, but any time I want to show a video clip, do a file transfer, or do an app share, it crashes. Very frustrating because those are the things that keep class engaging.
     
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 9, 2014

    I cannot auto-record because I share my Collaborate links with three other teachers (we teach in a team and rotate in and out). I only record my office hours or help sessions if there's something I realize everyone should see.

    Still not back on Plan yet. It's HARD trying to remember how to use a platform I haven't worked with in years, and I had only just figured out Plan for a few months. There was a system for turning the recordings into mp4 or mp3, but I cannot remember. That's something to ask my mentor.
     
  18. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 9, 2014

    It is so good to see you have returned! K12 is some wonderful material, so you must be having a great time. My school's software, with the exception of Collaborate, is home-grown. My guess is they will start franchising out to other states within the next five years, but I'm not part of that process.
     
  19. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2014

    Anyone have any good resources for online lessons? I am adapting things I used in my B&M classroom but I wondered if there was any sort of blog or website that is focused towards online teaching.
    Thanks!
     
  20. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Sep 15, 2014

    Are you talking about creating full-blown content or material for live sessions?
     

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