"Okay, Google" and the familiar assistant's beep comes up. "The human aspect of online teaching 2020," I say, in my "talking to the machine voice". Zero-point fifty-five seconds later, the search engine results page offers me about 1,740,000,000 links. As usual, I take a look at the first few results on the first page. "Great SEO" is the first thought that comes to mind while clicking on a link. "In fact, economics tells us that technology will make in-person education more valuable than ever." reads the article titled: "Online Learning Should Return to a Supporting Role", written in the New York Times by Professor David Deming back in April.
It surely seems like remote work and online learning are here to stay. Most likely not as we currently know it because frankly, there are many disadvantages of it that we are all just learning how to identify and work things out. We are in the constant process of training "the model" and "the machine". Digital media was supposed to be engaging because it was interesting, that hasn't and will probably not change, good educational content will prevail more than ever since it appears that most learning and teaching will be conducted digitally. Now, for some educators, figuring out all technical aspects of remote work may be a serious challenge, even a handicap. Finding the appropriate space and putting together a work station at home can also be a difficult mission. Other aspects like privacy, lack of internet connection, and continuous demand for communication with students and parents, are just some of the everyday topics on educators' minds everywhere. When it comes to maintaining motivation among the groups, texts, images, videos, and recorded lectures online alone just won't be enough. As Albert Bandura's social cognitive theory states "Learning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur purely through observation or direct instruction"
More than 120 million users worldwide have chosen to work on Edmodo, an online social learning platform designed for teachers, students, parents, and school administrators. Social media has been an important part of education and professional development since the early days of the web 2.0 era. Nowadays, that as a consequence of the coronavirus - (COVID 19) crisis, the real shift has happened, microblogging on social media and other systems including Learning Management Systems and captivating digital content is the bread and butter in most instructors' tool kits. They ease sharing ideas, opinions, thoughts, questions, and feedback. User-generated content produces engaging comment discussions and overall better collaborative virtual learning environments - VLE's. We really find these things in ongoing eLearning sites and platforms of today, but the truth is that people miss the reality of being near someone, noticing behaviors, human traits of personality, and genuinely just being us.
A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to talk to Andrea Cardona, English language teacher, and Global Community Manager for Edmodo en Español. We spoke about present-day online education, the type of changes in lesson planning and time management while working completely on VLE's, she also shares her views on how online teaching has made teachers more humans, and to always smile and expect the unexpected.
You can follow Andrea Cardona on Twitter @paacardonama