Sunday, January 24, 2021

2020 #VWEDU: DTA: The trouble with teaching online is that you don't have a captive audience. Now the learning has to hold their interest.

The trouble with teaching online is that 
you don't have a captive audience.  
Now the learning has to hold their interest.
Students need to learn self-management.  Where is that taught? 

10 Myths About Teaching Online


  • We don't like to think of students sitting politely in the school room as a captive audience.
  • But they had to be in class or get in trouble.
  • They had to seem to attend to the teacher or get in trouble.
  • No matter that they were bored, the could not escape.
  • The strategy for escape was: be quiet, look interested, and pass the tests.
  • Online the most they have to do is pass the tests.  
  • But that's all they ever needed to do at the system level.
  • They school needed them in class so it could get credit for their attendance.

Can children learn without a taskmaster?


Teachers can't duplicate Sesame Street

  • Not as individuals.  
  • But collectively they have far more teaching power than Sesame Street can afford.
  • But how can three million teachers get together?

Online is not alone 

Online without a taskmaster

  • Of course the teacher needs to be sure the task is done.  
  • But any reasonable task produces a product.
  • So the task is done when the product is delivered to the teacher.
  • Just like in real life.   In most work you have to produce, not just be there.

But they will put it off till the last minute

  • Of course adults would never do that.
  • Adults have learned to start immediately and pace themselves.  Really?
  • The Startalittles versus the Putitovs
  • Did they learn that in school?  
  • The probably learned to depend on the teacher to make them start.
  • Guess what happens when the teacher is not there.
  • Yes--they will put it off till the last minute.

Teach them good work habits

  • I'm going out on a limb there.  
  • Good work habits are not easily tested with multiple choice.
  • So they can't be part of the core curriculum.  
  • They could have a big impact indirectly.
  • Students with good work habits will do better on multiple choice tests.

How do they learn good work habits?

  • The same way you get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice.
  • But they need evaluation and coaching.  
  • Or they probably practice bad habits.
  • That's why you have to make the students do the work in class.
  • There you tell them what to do and make sure they do it. 
  • Thus teaching them to work under a taskmaster.
  • Psychologists call the next step fading .
  • You fade the taskmaster till the learner is functioning independently.
  • You can fade by turning some of the supervision over to a DTA
  • Skill-based learning: Requires evaluated practice. A job for the Digital Teaching Assistant (DTA)

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