Do You Know How to Be an Engaging and Highly Effective Educator?

Anyone can teach. We teach each other every day. For example, we give instructions to each other for such things as cooking, putting together furniture, and completing household other tasks. However, teaching someone is different than the process of educating someone. Consider the difference between informal learning and formal learning. An example of informal learning would be following a recipe to learn how to cook. In contrast, formal learning occurs within a classroom and usually is accompanied by evaluation and assessment. It may seem that teaching and educating are the same thing; however, the difference has to do with the place or context for learning.This is the same distinction can be made for teaching informally (giving instructions) and teaching students in a formal classroom environment. A person enters the field of education as a profession – either full time in traditional academic institutions or as an adjunct (or part time) instructor. The reasons vary for why someone would choose to be in the classroom. A traditional full time professor may likely be responsible for conducting research, teaching, and publishing scholarly work. An adjunct instructor may teach in a community college, traditional college, or an online school. When someone teaches students in higher education he or she may be called a facilitator, instructor, or professor. This is important as there isn’t a job with the word educator in the title.The questions I would like to answer include: What then does it mean to be an educator? Does it signify something different than the assigned job title? What I have learned through my work in higher education is that becoming an educator is not an automatic process. Everyone who is teaching adult students is not functioning as an engaging and highly effective educator. However, it is possible to learn how to educate rather than teach and that requires making a commitment to the profession.What Does It Mean to Teach?Consider teaching as part of the system of traditional, primary education. Those classes are teacher-led and children as students are taught what and how to learn. The teacher is considered to be the expert and directs the learning process. A teacher is someone who is highly trained and works to engage the minds of his or her students. This style of teacher-led instructional continues into higher education, specifically traditional college classrooms. The teacher still stands at the front and center of the class delivering information, and students are used to this format because of their experience in primary education. The instructor disseminates knowledge through a lecture and students study to pass the required examinations or complete other required learning activities.Within higher education, teachers may be called instructors and they are hired as subject matter experts with advanced content knowledge. The job requirements usually include holding a specific number of degree hours in the subject being taught. Teachers may also be called professors in traditional college classes, and those positions require a terminal degree with additional research requirements. For all of these roles, teaching is meant to signify someone who is guiding the learning process by directing, telling, and instructing students. The instructor or professor is in charge, and the students must comply and follow as directed. Here is something to consider: If that is the essence of teaching, is there a difference between that and educating students? Is the role of a teacher the same as that of an educator?What Does It Mean to be an Educator?Consider some basic definitions to begin with as a means of understanding the role of an educator. The word “education” refers to giving instruction; “educator” refers to the person who provides instruction and is someone who is skilled in teaching; and teaching is aligned with providing explanations. I have expanded upon these definitions so that the word “educator” includes someone who is skilled with instruction, possesses highly developed academic skills, and holds both subject matter knowledge and knowledge of adult education principles.Skilled with Instruction: An educator is someone who should be skilled in the art of classroom instruction, knowing what instructional strategies are effective and the areas of facilitation that need further development. An experienced educator develops methods that will bring course materials to life by adding relevant context and prompting students to learn through class discussions and other learning activities. Instruction also includes all of the interactions held with students, including all forms of communication, as every interaction provides an opportunity for teaching.Highly Developed Academic Skills: An educator must also have strong academic skills and at the top of that list are writing skills. This requires strong attention to detail on the part of the educator and in all forms of messages communicated, including anything written, presented, and sent via email. The ability to demonstrate strong academic skills is especially important for anyone who is teaching online classes as words represent the instructor.The use of proper formatting guidelines, according to the style prescribed by the school, is also included in the list of critical academic skills. For example, many schools have implemented APA formatting guidelines as the standard for formatting papers and working with sources. An educator cannot adequately guide students and provide meaningful feedback if the writing style has not been mastered.Strong Knowledge Base: An educator needs to develop a knowledge base that contains subject matter expertise, as related to the course or courses they are teaching, along with knowledge of adult education principles. I know of many educators who have the required credit hours on their degree transcripts, yet they may not have extensive experience in the field they teach. This will still allow these educators to teach the course, provided that they take time to read the course textbook and find methods of applying it to current practices within the field.Many schools hire adjuncts with extensive work experience as the primary criteria, rather than knowledge of adult learning principles. Those instructors I have worked with who do have a strong adult education knowledge base generally acquired it through ongoing professional development. That was my goal, when I decided on a major for my doctoral degree, to understand how adults learn so that I could transform from an instructor to an educator.Becoming an Engaging and Highly Effective EducatorI do not believe that many instructors intentionally consider the need to make a transformation from working as an instructor to functioning as an educator. When someone is hired to teach a class, someone other than a traditional college professor, they often learn through practice and time what works well in the classroom. There will likely be classroom audits and recommendations made for ongoing professional development. Gradually the typical instructor will become an educator as they seek out resources to help improve their teaching practices. However, I have worked with many adjunct online instructors who rely on their subject matter expertise alone and do not believe there is a reason to grow as an educator. For anyone who would like to make the transformation and become an engaging and highly effective educator, there are steps that can be taken and practices that can be implemented.Step One: Continue to Develop Your Instructional PracticeWhile any educator can learn through time on the job, it is possible to become intentional about this growth. There are numerous online resources, publications, workshops, webinars, and professional groups that would allow you to learn new methods, strategies, and practices. There are also social media websites such as LinkedIn and Twitter that allow for the exchange of ideas and resources within a global community of educators.You can also utilize self-reflection as a means of gauging your effectiveness. I have found that the best time to review my instructional practice occurs immediately after a class concludes. That is a time when I can assess the strategies I have used and determine if those methods were effective. Even reviewing end of course student surveys may provide insight into the perspective of my students.Step Two: Continue to Develop Your Academic SkillsI know from my work with online faculty development that this is an area of development that many educators could use. However, it is often viewed as a low priority – until it is noted in classroom audits. If an educator has weak academic writing skills, it will interfere with their ability to provide comprehensive feedback for students. For online instructors, that has an even greater impact when posted messages contain errors with spelling, grammar, and formatting. The development of academic skills can be done through the use of online resources or workshops. Many online schools I have worked for offer faculty workshops and this is a valuable self-development resource.Step Three: Continue to Develop Your Subject Matter ExpertiseEvery educator has subject matter expertise that they can draw upon. However, the challenge is keeping that knowledge current as you continue to teach for several years. The best advice I can offer is to find resources that allow you to read and learn about current thinking, research, and best practices in your chosen field. This is essential to your instructional practice as students can ascertain whether you appear to be current in your knowledge, or outdated and seemingly out of touch. Even the use of required textbooks does not ensure that you are utilizing the most current information as knowledge evolves quickly in many fields.Step Four: Continue to Develop Your Knowledge of Adult LearningThe last step or strategy that I can recommend is to gain knowledge about adult learning theories, principles, and practices. If you are not familiar with the basics there are concepts you can research and include critical thinking, andragogy, self-directed learning, transformational learning, learning styles, motivation, and cognition. My suggestion is to find and read online sources related to higher education and then find a subject that interests you to research further. I have found that the more I read about topics I enjoy, the more I am cultivating my interest in ongoing professional development. What you will likely find is that what you learn will have a positive influence on your work as an educator and will enhance all areas of your instructional practice.Working as an educator, or someone who is highly engaged in the process of helping students learn, starts with a commitment to make this a career rather than a job. I have developed a vision related to how I want to be involved in each class I teach and I recommend the same strategy for you. You may find it useful to develop teaching goals for your career and link your classroom performance to those goals. For example, do you want to complete the required facilitation tasks or would you rather put in the additional time necessary to create nurturing class conditions?After developing a vision and teaching goals, you can create a professional development plan to prompt your learning and growth in all of the areas I have addressed above. While this strategy may require an investment of time, it is helpful to remember that we always make time for whatever we believe is most important. Being an educator is not sustaining a focus on job functions, rather it is cultivating a love of what you do and learning how to excel for the benefit of your students. Becoming an engaging and highly effective educator occurs when you decide that teaching students is only part of the learning process, and you work to transform who you are and how you function, while working and interacting with your students.

What Makes Online Education a Better Option For You?

Nowadays, pursuing a degree through online education is common, and the value of online degree from a proper accredited university or college is equally weight than the traditional campus-based degree. With both campus-based degree and online education you have more options to choose from if you want to earn a degree for you career advancement. Online education has many advantages that can benefit its students, but it may not be a good option for all students; then what makes online education a better option for you?Here a 5 signs that an online education might be a better option for you:1. You want to continue your current job while pursuing a degreeIn order to success in both work and study, you need to have a good time management that helps you to stay focus in both tasks. Online education will make it easier for you if you are the person who does not want to give up your paycheck while earning a degree for better career future. The advantages of online education that allows it students to have the most flexible learning environment can benefit a working individual and plan your times that best fit into both work and study.2. You are managing multiple time commitments Online education helps to cut down wasted time in traveling to and from school while providing flexible scheduling that can enables you to fully utilize your time. If you are a person with full of time commitments with multiple working around obligations, you will appreciate the anytime, anywhere access of the virtual classroom. Online education will be a better option for you if you have such working obligations while you study:
Frequent traveling for job assignment
Unfixed working schedule / work on shift
Involve in project-based work that need long working hour
Need to take care of your children after work hours

3. You are a visual learner Traditional campus-based learning style is more emphasis on auditory activities such as lectures and oral discussions while online education learning style is mostly in visual learning format that involves reading, writing with various visual aids found in virtual classroom. Hence, if you prefer to “read and learn” than “listen and learn” type of style, an online education learning environment will be a better option for you.4. You are self-motivated “Self-motivation” is the key factor to a success online study. Online classes allow you to logon to the class at anytime and remain in the online class for the duration you prefer, nobody will push at your back to urge you complete you projects or assignments. You may move through the material at your own pace, passing quickly on the area you already familiar with and spending more time to understand new concepts. If you equip with a good “self-motivation” characteristic, then you should have no problem in completing an online education program which makes it a better option for you.5. You are interest in a specialized degree not available locally One of the most compelling reasons to opt for online education is you can earn your dream degree offered by any of university in the world as long as the university offers online degree programs. Distance is not an issue for online education because you can reach it with mouse clicks no matter how far it is located from your place. The online education will become a better option for you when the degree you are interested in is not available locally.SummaryEarning a degree online can have many advantages over the traditional campus-based education.┬áIt will become your better education option if the advantages of online education can benefit you while helping you to achieve your education goal in a better way.

Online Business Tips For Success

Three Hot Tips For Starting a Successful Online BusinessThese days, it seems everyone wants to start an online business – but how can you make sure you are successful, and not one of the many failed startups?The most important thing to remember when you’re starting out is that people go online looking for information or for a solution to a problem. They do not, for the most part, go online to buy!So how do you come up with the best online business idea?- Choose something you’re passionate about
– Do your homework
– Plan before you buildThe first thing you need to do to start a successful online business is choose a field you’re interested in. Thing about it – you’re much more likely to dedicate your time and resources to something you are passionate about. If your business bores you, chances are you won’t be motivated to work hard at it.Make a list of your hobbies, interests, and passions. What do people always come to you for advice about? Have you ever taught a class? Everyone has unique skills and interest that they can base a successful online business on.The next thing you need to do is research… BEFORE you choose a product or build a website. Don’t try to find the “ultimate” product to sell – that’s a guaranteed way to fail before you’ve started! Instead, you need to find a problem that people are actively seeking an answer for online… and aren’t finding it!Using tools like Wordtracker, which allows you to view how many times a particular keyword or key phrase has been searched, you can see what people are typing into the search engines to find what they’re looking for.Wordtracker will also tell you how many other websites are competing for a particular keyword or keyphrase, so you can determine if there is a viable market there. After all, no one wants to start an online business that has to compete for traffic with thousands of other websites!The third important thing to remember when you’re launching your online business is that you need to plan your website BEFORE you build it, or hire someone to build it.After all, your website will be the face of your online business! If it doesn’t work properly, if the navigation is confusing, if it doesn’t specifically address the problem your potential customers are trying to solve… they won’t stick around.Remember the “10-second rule”- you have just 10 seconds when people arrive at your website to grab their attention. If they don’t see what they’re looking for right away, they’ll leave – and never return!If you follow these three simple tips, you can get started today and you’ll soon find the best online business for you!More free resources at http://www.Taminwebhost.com