Online Learning Director at HCDE Helps Train Teachers to Be ‘Virtual Best’

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August 6, 2020 by HCDE-Texas

As virtual learning director Dr. Colina Poullard trains teachers at Harris County Department of Education’s Schools Division in upcoming weeks, she offers these tips. Three best practices can be applied by any teacher who is teaching virtually this school year:

  1. Set Virtual Classroom Norms/Expectations:
    Being taught through a virtual classroom can feel isolating for students. A good way to introduce structure and a sense of togetherness is to set norms. These include having a daily log-in time; only using the chat box for questions; and expecting students to have needed materials near their computer.
  2. Model Use of Tech Tools:
    Before expecting students to use tech tools, teachers should familiarize students with their location, function and use for each lesson.
  3. Chunk Lessons:
    It’s important that learners don’t feel overwhelmed during lessons without teacher support. Prevent this by introducing the overarching lesson, then splice the learning components into small bites.

(Dr. Colina Poullard is HCDE’s Teaching and Learning Center curriculum director for Digital Education and Innovation. She oversees HCDE’s online instruction program, an asynchronous, self-paced program offered for teachers who want to enhance their virtual teaching skills. A certificate is gained at the end of each of three courses. Her email is cpoullard@hcde-texas.)



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