Proper training needed for online teaching

Originally published in The Oklahoman – October 18, 2020

COVID-19 has changed the way we view the world around us. It’s especially made us take a closer look at education. We have seen districts that had been so used to the traditional brick-and-mortar model try everything from a full-online education platform to a blended environment to even going back to school entirely.

It’s incredibly tough to say which one is right; there are so many factors at play. But whichever model is used has to be up to the highest standards in terms of providing a safe and quality learning environment. Unfortunately, with a scramble to move online, most teachers in our brick-and-mortar schools were not being trained properly. This has made the online approach look inferior to in-person learning, when that does not need to be the case.

As a community family adviser at Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy, I have seen how an online learning environment positively impacts students and their families. It’s a foolproof solution, if and only if teachers know how to properly manage their classrooms in a virtual setting.

I think districts trying online learning for the first time could take a page from more established schools and teachers that have been doing this for years. Online learning works, but it’s not something that can be fixed overnight. Teachers just need proper training.

Lonnie Barton

To learn more about Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy, visit ovca.k12.com

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