Why online teaching requires rigorous training (Mary Burns)

Mary Burns, Doc Searls Weblog, Jan 12, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

If this headline is true, then I am a bad online teacher, because I have not had rigorous training. But I don't think I'm a bad online teacher. So there is something wrong with the statement in the headline. Perhaps it's this: "But if a great teacher is to the classroom what Fred Astaire was to dancing, then an online teacher must be even better because teaching online is far more challenging than teaching face-to-face. Like Ginger Rogers, the online teacher has to do everything Astaire does—but backwards and in high heels." Oh I see - the author thinks that teachers online do the same thing as teachers in a classroom, that it's some kind of performance, like presenting and delivering content. But I'm pretty sure that's false. (Also, see a good discussion in the comments about the statement that "The single greatest factor in a student’s academic success is the presence of an effective (good) teacher." Again, we know that this isn't true, but people keep saying it.)

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