Expert Strategies to Make Online Teaching a Success
In this interview with Courtney Ostaff, author of The Teaching Online Handbook (John Catt Educational), learn about applying best practices in online education and how it intersects with classic methods.
While many educators found themselves only recently immersed in online learning because of the pandemic, Ostaff has been engaged in online teaching for the past 20 years. Some of her early interest started from the necessity of raising children and teaching in a homeschool environment. But soon, her curiosity, understanding, and empathy grew for the benefits of online education. Today, she has found success in teaching and interacting with the members of the Well-Trained Mind Academy’s online teaching community.
Success in online education has the added component of learning to trust the parents inside the learning equation. It differs from in-class learning, where the teaching relationship is often separated from parents. Virtual learning depends heavily on connections forming with the parents of students. By regularly creating expectations and well-planned out advance scheduling, families become set-up for success, and lasting learning becomes the outcome.
As you listen to the interview, think through the following questions, and consider your views on online teaching and how specific methods best translate virtually:
• As a teacher, what areas of online schooling do you gravitate to?
• Moving forward, even after the pandemic subsides, do you see online learning playing a more significant role with traditional schooling?
• Do you recognize the communication piece between trained educators, parents, and students? Have you noticed an even greater need for successful communication in making online learning work?
• Online learning succeeds with the regularity of expectations for parents and students. Set scheduling well in advance is imperative to keeping the environment functioning. Do you see aspects of this method as beneficial to in-class situations?
About Courtney Ostaff
Courtney Ostaff is a professional online K-12 teacher and homeschooling parent. Since 1999, she’s taught in private and public community colleges, high schools, middle schools, daycares, and homes, both online and face to face.
She has a master’s in public administration, a master’s in secondary education, and teaching certifications in mathematics, science, and social studies grades 5 to 12, as well as a special education certification in teaching the visually impaired, birth through adulthood.
Currently, she is homeschooling her own children and teaching online at the secondary level, ages 8 to 18.
Her interest lies in applying the latest research in cognitive science to best practices in online education and the intersection of application with classical education.