Reflection on Learning and Communicating Online
Learning in the modern world is being digitalized at a faster rate. Thus, having adequate digital knowledge as a teacher is crucial because the skills will be needed. Com10003 unit has taught me skills and has imparted knowledge that will help me be a success in my teaching career. Such skills include communication skills, patience, social networking, among others. This essay reflects on those skills and knowledge in the online environment and virtual collaboration.
Both constructivist and cognitive theory has helped me gain knowledge in this unit. Constructivist comes in where I collaborate with my fellow peers, whom some of them have much knowledge than me. I have gotten the chance to learn from them. Cognitive theory has helped me learn through thinking critically and applying my thoughts to better my knowledge. I learned that an online environment is a learning experience where learners are physically located away from each other but can interact through social media platforms (Beldarrain, 2006). Such platforms include emails, zoom, and Facebook live, among others. For instance, learners do their assignments and submit them via emails. It is more way convenient than attending classes physically because one does their learning activities at their convenient place. Also, the online environment includes learners accessing learning materials online, commonly known as e-library. The e-library is bigger, better, and faster (Chaw & Bucknall, 2012).
I also got to understand about virtual collaboration. It refers to the interaction that is not faced among geographically separated people and which is technology-enabled. Involved people depend on computer-mediated communication to work on their projects (Cramton &Webber, 2015). Choosing the right technology, that is, apps, tools, and resources, can further students’ interactions beyond classrooms. Some of the best technology apps and tools for virtual collaboration include Google apps, debate graphs, talk boards, and today meet, among others. All these resources enable teachers to track learner’s progress and enhances communication and feedback. Having this knowledge will enable me to identify which platforms are best for my pupils depending on the nature of learners.
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Through this unit, I have learned several skills, including time management, flexibility, patience, and social networking. I have known that time is crucial, especially when it comes to online classes. As a teacher in the future, I will be able to plan my time well and engage my learners productively. For instance, ensuring that I have fulfilled the required amount of work within the allocated time. One importance of time management is that it helps one waste less time, thus avoiding more problems.
Being flexible is one of the most needed things when it comes to learning online. This is because the learner will be required to change to situations as they unfold during the session. For example, when the lecturer is giving out notes and all of a sudden, group discussions begin. The learner will be forced to be flexible and adjust; otherwise, they will be left behind. In the future, as a teacher, this will enable me to serve my pupils well. For example, if one student asks a question in the middle of a lesson, I will be quick to answer it and later go back to teaching.
I have developed the value of being patient as an upcoming teacher. During the virtual lessons, the network may fail, and learners are forced to wait to catch up again with their teams. This instills patience within the learners. It is important to be patient as a teacher, especially if dealing with primary school pupils. Children are slow, and being patient with them helps in creating a strong bond. Expressing patience towards those around you shows you care and support them (Stewart, 2001).
I have developed the skill of social networking. This has helped me develop profitable friendships. Through virtual collaboration with my fellow learners, I can comfortably network with other people. This is more important as a teacher because learners perform the best when they have a good relationship with their teachers. Therefore, I will know how to bond with my pupils for better performance. On top of those main skills, other skills include conceptual skills. It includes the ability to think critically, innovate new ideas, and problem- solving. Another skill is practical in digitalized machines. Being able to operate them and their safety measures are key. Towards my learning, I will take these skills as my guiding tools for the sake of my future career.
My two key goals in this unit were to develop my skills in virtual interactions and time management. As a primary teacher, I have learned how to foster interactions with children in three ways. First, being there for them. This gives them a chance to get closer to me and socialize. Secondly, connect with them. It includes instilling trust and confidence in them and showing them I am interested in what they are doing. Thirdly, extend learning. This revolves around making use of the strong connection to develop their knowledge, for example, on vocabulary, language, or maybe critical thinking. The other goal was time management which I have fulfilled. What has helped me achieve these goals is my peers and tutors. I can comfortably say they have contributed to my knowledge of interacting and time management. Factors that have hindered me are network failures and lack of consistency. I have had several failures with the network, which interrupted my collaboration with my peers. Also, consistency in online learning is a challenge to me, which has made me miss out on some important lessons.
My key course goal is to have developed strong communication skills that will help me in my teaching career. I hope to have improved in my writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills. This will help me throughout my career as a teacher. Writing skills will help me write and keep records for my pupils, which can be used for future reference. Reading skills will enable me to read books and improve my knowledge of different areas related to my course. I will then impact the knowledge of my pupils. Speaking skills will enable me to present lessons to my pupils in a coherent manner. My voice will be audible and clear enough to meet pupils’ needs. Also, listening skills will help me listen to the needs of my pupils, such as questions and respond to them appropriately. What will help me achieve my goals in this course is having a good collaboration with my peers and tutors. This will help me enhance my communication skills. Studies show that teachers with good communication skills make boring lessons interesting for learners (Allen, 2003).
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To wide up, it is imperative for a learner, not only those practicing teaching but also other professions, to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge for learning in the online environment. For teachers, skills such as good communication skills, social networking, and patience, among others, are vital. Having the right technical knowledge will also play an important part in their career. Also, learners ought to have goals when starting a certain unit or course and identify ways to meet their goals.
Allen, M. W. (2003). Michael Allen’s guide to E-learning: Building interactive, fun, and effective learning programs for any company. John Wiley & Sons.
Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139-153. doi:10.1080/01587910600789498
Chow, A. S., & Bucknall, T. (2012). Online environment. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/computer-science/online-environment
Cramton, C. D., & Webber, S. S. (2005). Relationships among geographic dispersion, team processes, and effectiveness in software development work teams. Journal of Business Research, 58(6), 758-765. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2003.10.006
Stewart, M. (2001). Towards a global definition of patient – centred care. BMJ, 322(7284), 444-445. doi:10.1136/bmj.322.7284.444