Teaching Reading: In Person, or Online?

I have never taken an online class for college. I need personal interaction with peers and a mentor or teacher. I can see the appeal for many students. It can be embarrassing, having to participate in class and not knowing the answers. I feel bad for students who are naturally introverts. Additionally, I know that there are students who are ashamed of their ability, or rather, inability to perform an academic task at grade level. Teenagers can be so rude sometimes.

I have always thought of teaching as an in person event. Students need feedback. Instruction and conversation are fluid and nuanced. Feedback for students’ work might need to change based on how the student is feeling that day. I might need to be more sensitive with redirection or clarification. Interpersonal communication is challenging.

The question is, can reading be taught online? I’ve always learned best in person. I’ve always taught in person. Is there a way to give specific instruction online? Is there a way to give timely feedback?

That’s one of the biggest challenges I have faced as a public school teacher. I have taught, on average 230 students every year for four years. I know that some understood my lessons and should have been in an Honors or AP class. I know that I have tried to teach students without knowing how to get through to them. Is there a better way to individually teach students? Is there a better way to foster curiosity, learning, and growth at the individual level?

Online might be the answer.

I have seen many people learn amazing things through online resources. Videos, podcasts, news sites, and technology yet to be understood have all been a step in the education process. I think that there is potential online.

So I’m branching out. I’m trying the video route through YouTube for now. I would love for you to swing by and watch a video or two. If it’s something that you think has potential, I’d love some feedback. If you know someone that could use the information, please share!

And, as always, read on!
-Dave

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