Learning to learn online together
student teacher (doing his teaching practice in a secondary school during the period of online education)
The school where I did my teaching practice decided to use Teams as the common platform for online education. As it was a new platform for all of us (including myself, my colleagues, the students), we had a lot of difficulties in the beginning. The school organized some ad-hoc trainings for the teachers, however, this did not solve students’ issues, they were very insecure using this platform. As this platform had not been popular before Covid, the students could not even ask help from their parents.
In what ways did you respond to this dilemma/difficulty?
I decided that it would be a worthy investment to devote some time during my lessons to explore Teams’ features together with my students. They enjoyed that we were equal partners in this endeavour. I noted down some of their ideas on how to use the various features, and I tried to incorporate these in my lessons – I believe that this contributed a bit to their engagement throughout my teaching practice. For an example, it was their idea that we create a shared document that was always pinned to the top of our Teams group, where we would collect interesting books/movies/articles related to the topics that we covered during the lessons. Anyone could add to this list, and by the end of the year we had a pretty good collection. I loved this idea so much that I have adapted it to face-to-face teaching as well.
What are the implications for teaching, learning and my understanding of the role of a teacher?
“Learning” together, developing our technical skills together with the students can be a valuable lesson, and it also improves teacher-student relationship.
Keywords: online platforms, learning together