Student teaching is typically part of an education degree program. It usually involves lesson planning, classroom teaching, assessment, and reflection. Certified teachers supervise student teachers by reviewing teaching materials, observing teaching practices, conferencing with the student teacher, and consulting with other faculty or administrators as needed.
Online learning boasts many potential advantages, including potentially lower tuition prices, flexible attendance formats, and savings on travel time and expenses. Student teaching technology offers several convenient teaching features, including easy sharing of media and quick transitions between learning group sizes.
However, student teaching online also poses various challenges, including accessibility concerns, technological difficulties, and online classroom management issues. This page offers tips that can help student teachers overcome such difficulties. Online teaching tips can give student teachers the confidence they need to become versatile, skillful educators at the cutting edge of a changing world.
Online Courses During COVID-19
The spread of COVID-19 has caused K-12 and higher education classes to rapidly shift to online environments. Some teachers conduct virtual, synchronous classes at set times, while others offer asynchronous courses that allow students to access lectures and material at any time. Students and teachers across the country are grappling with new technologies and online participation formats.
The sudden circumstances precipitating the transition to online teaching have compounded the usual distance learning challenges. Distractions often make it harder for some learners to focus during online classes, and the difficulties of prioritizing, focusing, and managing time grow more acute in the climate of uncertainty and fear surrounding COVID-19.
Some teachers also resist online adaptation, and may be replaced by teachers more willing or capable of adjusting quickly to online learning's tech-savvy demands. Meanwhile, online student teachers lose the chance to practice teaching in physical school environments.
Technological issues, such as computer problems, weak internet connections, or low bandwidth, may also complicate student teaching online. Students and teachers who did not anticipate needing advanced equipment or internet access may find themselves unprepared for this sudden shift.
Socioeconomic inequalities also exacerbate online learning issues. Students in unsafe, unstable, or underserved homes or communities may lose the respite and support that school hours provided. This "digital divide" has already led to major attendance gaps among poorer students.
Taking Education Courses Online
The sudden switch to online teaching has created a steep learning curve for both students and teachers. Some socially anxious students may learn better in the safety of their home environment, but many students have trouble feeling engaged and focused in an online classroom. Completing assignments in less structured environments may also prove challenging.
For expert strategies, skills, and tech for student teaching online, student teachers stand to benefit from training by technology and distance learning experts. Training may be offered by the student teacher's current school or student teaching site. A wealth of distance learning resources and training opportunities also exist.
Student teachers can learn how to convert course materials and discussions into user-friendly, engaging formats, such as webpages, wikis, and blogs. Familiarity with online teaching technologies, such as Blackboard, Canvas, or Coursera, can make student teachers more versatile and marketable. Other tools include ClassDojo, cK-12, Projeqt, and EduClipper. See below for additional online study tips.