• Davis Abraham

Online Teaching Framework (Part 1) - Mindset

Introduction

A tiny virus has transformed the way we teach and learn. We knew that the future was digital but no one saw this coming. Forced into teaching online overnight, educators were taken by surprise. But teaching online is more than just a change in the platform. It includes a new mindset that is willing to embrace change and challenges, a new set of methods to create, curate, and present content for a digital audience, and also a new medium to communicate seamlessly.


We at ViGEO have been fortunate to help over 3000 educators make this digital transition. As part of our ongoing mission to help teachers teach better online, we have developed "The Online Teaching Framework" for creating effective and sustainable online learning environments.



In this series of three articles, you will learn more about the three key aspects of this framework - mindset, methods, and medium - and the various elements that are essential for effective online teaching.


The Mindset

Online teaching starts with having the right mindset. Statements, like, "This is not how I have always done it" or "I wish all of this was over soon", are not going to help. Educators need to arm themselves with these mindset essentials:

  1. Purpose: Revisit your calling as an educator. What motivates you? Does it drive you to wake up each morning and be available for your students? Without this overarching purpose, it will be difficult to keep going, especially in these tough times.

  2. Self-Awareness: Knowing yourself well is an essential component of success. Playing to your strengths and working on your weaknesses is the way to move forward. What do students like about you? What's their biggest complaint? Identify your strengths and weaknesses, and intentionally work on them.

  3. Self-Motivation: Plan your work and work your plan. To be effective online educators, we have to be intrinsically motivated, i.e. from within. This includes making good plans, practicing accountability, and seeing plans through. Learning to manage time and beating procrastination is key to keep up with the frantic pace of online teaching.

  4. Mindfulness: It is so easy to get caught up in the flow of things: syllabus completion, evaluation, class preparation, team meetings, etc. Left unchecked, hectic schedules lead to stress and burnout. It is important to have moments to catch a breath, see the big picture, and reorient yourself.

  5. Growth Mindset: While experience and routines are great things, they can lead to a fixed mindset where new possibilities are scorned and scoffed at. To thrive in the "new normal", developing a growth mindset is non-negotiable. It's never too late to start learning.

  6. Resilience: Setbacks in life are inevitable. But how quickly can you bounce back from a setback? The answer to that question shows how resilient you are. With increasing uncertainties and constant changes of plans, educators need to be strong enough to adapt and thrive.

  7. Empathy: Being able to see things from another person's perspective - that's empathy. As an educator, you need to be to see what your students are going through, especially when you can't meet them physically. This needs a heart that is considerate and willing to help.

  8. Active Listening: It is a sign of respect and care when you actively listen to someone giving them your full attention. Students are more open and receptive to educators who care about them. Learning to listen on a digital platform is a skill of the future.

  9. Collaboration: More than ever, we feel the need for teamwork and communication. You cannot be a successful educator all alone. You need to learn how to work cohesively with your colleagues, students, and parents.

So, what's next?

At ViGEO, we provide training on all the above-mentioned aspects and elements. We want educational institutions not just to survive the COVID crisis but use it as a launchpad into the future. We provide customised training after understanding the needs of the institutions.


Check out our online workshop series and 3-day training course where we implement these ideas into practice.


After going through this framework, what do you think you would want your team to work on? Let us know. We're happy to help.

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