Perhaps you are already an online teacher and don’t even know it..!
As educators today, many of us have crossed the line into a virtual world, whether we realise it or not.
How about you?
1) Do you regularly text and Tweet about education on facebook, Twitter and Linkedin?
2) Do you follow leaders in your field online?
3) Do you read a lot of blog articles on education?
4) Do you attend webinars and join online courses?
5) Do you try to integrate technology into your courses?
6) Do you have a virtual bookmarking site where you store your favourite links?
7) Are you always tempted to add your own touch of creativity to your courses?
8) Are you tired of following course books?
9) Do you feel morally and intellectually crushed by the establishment?
10) Do you have hidden talents, passions and dreams that you’ve never allowed yourself to entertain or realise?
If you answered yes to five or more of these questions, then you have already crossed the line and there’s no going back.
You are a user and connoisseur of online delights. You have the mindset and inspirational dissatisfaction to do something about your online teachng career.
What’s the next step?
It’s time to graduate from dabbling in technology and social networks to getting more productive.
By reversing the ten points above from a trend-setter’s perspective.
1) Apart from status updates, Tweets and shares, you could set up your own facebook page or Linkedin group for sharing your expertise and marketing your courses.
2) Instead of just following people, start influencing people. Become a thought-leader in your own personal learning network. This may sound overly ambitious, but just remember that you have your own special interests in education, things you read, experiment with and think about. No one thinks about or does exactly what you do, so your voice is unique in social media.
3) Instead of just reading blogs, start writing your own. Start off simply, and ultimately build up your own website when the time is right. You can also use a simple blog and link to courses that you’ve set up on educational platforms. Apart from popular blogs sites, such as blogger and WordPress, you can also use the blogging features on Linkedin.
4) Have you ever wondered how other educators set up webinars or online courses?
It’s time to satisfy your curiosity. Log into a course you’ve followed recently, such as Build Your Teaching Business Online, and check out the learning environment, the presentations, and the thread discussions. What would you do if you set up your own online course for students or teachers?
5) Who can deny that it’s fun and effective to create videos, stories, comics, infographics, memes, mindmaps, and all kinds of artistic educational materials?
Who can deny that it’s even more fun and effective to have your students do it?
Any little thing counts. If students use their mobile phones to share pictures or if they use their social network to share their passions, you can then channel their activities into language development. This is the beginning of digital learning.
6) Everything you already do with bookmarking, curating and social media is an integration of technology, mind, heart and holistic, lifelong learning. Sites such as Symbaloo, Listly and Pearl trees allow you to manage your own learning and manage your students’ learning.
7) The great thing about teaching online or blending your learning environments is that each presentation or learning product you create is an extension of your own creativity and intelligence as a teacher. This sets passion free. It unlocks flow and potential in yourself and your students. It allows you to really live as a teacher.
8) You are now the author of your own courses – how does that feel?
Even if you have to follow certain coursebooks, you can exploit the lessons in them by using multi-media and still save time & meet objectives.
9) Now you are intellectually free. You can also become economically independant of local conditions if you market your teaching skills online. You can start by doing online tutoring, teaching one-to -one and getting paid via paypal.
10) Last but not least you can find your true purpose and add extra meaning to your teaching life.
It really doesn’t matter what you teach or what your inherent skills, talents, or passions are. It just matters that you discover them and express them, or vice versa.
I’ve found that blogging, curating, content creation, course creation and materials design are activities that bring out hidden potential that you didn’t even know you had.
Enjoy the journey from here: