Posted by: emapey | October 14, 2009

Online Teachers Must be Experienced in Using the Web to Instruct

Many instructors teaching online today are not “Web heads” Today’s online faculty don’t teach online because they spend their lives blogging, reading feeds, and Twittering, and one day think, “hey, I could also teach online!” Most were drafted, either because they felt their market value would slip if they didn’t teach online, or because their department or dean told them they must. Their adoption of technology is based on top–down directives rather than interest or aptitude . They do not possess the “information literacy” skills now required of many undergraduates , despite an assumption that professors are all computer–savvy.

When faced with a different interface or online environment, novices are inclined to utilize only the aspects they understand from a non–Web context. Posting a Word document online makes sense, but not creating an HTML page, because a word–processed document is a familiar unit of presentation but a Web page is not. Similarly, e–mail is the current incarnation of the familiar process of writing a memo, but there are fewer guideposts for instant messaging or video conferencing. The addition of hardware peripherals, such as a webcam or microphone, further increases the distance between the professor and familiar modes of teaching.
Source: Lisa M. Lane, First Monday



  1. I think it is exciting to be in the educational field today, because of the unusual and different ways of communicating that computers, iphones, webcams and other electronic modes of communication are offering to teachers and students. I look forward to seeing more advances and innovations in the next few years and down the road further.

    I think that each mode of communication has its own pros and cons when used for education, but the very fact that we can talk in real time to each other (students and teachers) using video and access course information and really interact online more than ever and in so many ways makes for so many more doors that will eventually lead to still other doors we have not even dreamed of yet.

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