Online teaching has become more popular with the drastic changes we have had to adapt to. If you’ve been considering teaching online but aren’t feeling clued up enough, you’ve come to the right place.
There are two general types of online teaching, being synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous teaching requires the students and teachers to meet on an online platform at specific times for live lessons. Asynchronous teaching involves pre-recorded lessons, and following up with the student at a later time.
4 things to keep in mind before going into online teaching
Although there is variation depending on programs and agencies, there are some basic insights to consider before pursuing online teaching.
You might be expected to come up with the curriculum
Online curriculum plans change across programs. Where one program would hand you a fully mapped out teaching plan, another might expect you to come up with the material yourself. It’s also common to be given the assignments and tasks that your students will have to complete at specific times, leaving you to work out the teaching plan in between. These are things you’ll want to research when looking into different programs or agencies.
You will need to have an adaptable teaching style
Lessons that work in the traditional teaching environment may not necessarily work in your online classes. Depending on whether your videos are live or pre-recorded, your communication strategies will differ. Be prepared to have to seriously adapt any familiar teaching methods – for example, you’re going to have to consider how your students will do group tasks, and how you’re going to do informal assessments.
Keep in mind, when you are struggling with the change of environment, it is likely that your students might be feeling the same way, so you want to make sure the learning they do on their own is manageable.
Feedback is essential
Communication with students is necessary in any teaching environment, but it’s vital for online education. Because students are doing tasks and assessments independently, it’s difficult to know when a learner is off track. If you aren’t teaching your students live, it’s impossible to see if your lesson is being received – this is why you will need to consistently check up on your class and keep an open communication line.
The job comes with flexibility
The most beneficial part of online teaching is its flexibility. Depending on whether you are doing synchronous or asynchronous teaching, the flexibility of your schedule will vary. But you’re still guaranteed more freedom than you would have in a traditional teaching job. If you have a computer or laptop, a webcam, a solid internet connection, a mic and a headset at hand, you can teach from wherever you are, with no commute to school.
It’s also relatively easy to balance a full-time job with pre-recorded online teaching. Because of this freedom, you aren’t limited by your location, and opportunities are easy to find.
South African online schools
South African teachers have a couple of options when looking into online schooling. Of course there is the option of teaching specific subjects online to other countries, but if you’re looking at supporting our local online schools, here are some of the top options:
Curro, South Africa’s largest private school, has opened one of our newer online schools. The program already seems to be popular, where students and teachers communicate during online lessons, leaving parents to only have to go through homework with their children.
This school offers curriculums ranging from Grade 1 all the way through to matric, but makes it easy for a learner to complete a grade’s worth of work in just 6 months. Virtual Schools is a great example of a school that uses asynchronous teaching. Although the program has tutors at the availability of their learners, lessons are pre-recorded for the students to go through at their own pace.
Brainline has been giving online schooling to thousands of students for over 30 years. They follow the same CAPS curriculum as mainstream schools and have a range of learning resources available for learners. The program makes use of live classes and webinars, as well as pre-recorded lessons. Teachers and parents are both involved in the student’s education.
Working with a curriculum recognized by national and international universities, Valenture Institute offers online education where students meet in classes and learn together with a teacher. The institute has the unique feature of boutique campuses, where students are given the opportunity to interact and engage with fellow students. Valenture is also unique for facilitating extracurricular activities that their learners can take part in.
This career path can be ideal for the teacher fresh out of studies, or the teacher who’s become an expert in their field. If you’re confident with the latest online technology and you can adapt your teaching to work in an untraditional schooling environment, online teaching could be a brilliant opportunity for you.