1) Before you start teaching online and as you prepare to do so, consider: What was the best online interaction you have had, one that seemed almost as authentic, as real with someone face-to-face, one that made you think of the internet’s “magic” because of what can be done online that cannot otherwise?
2) Use technology for what you need to do. Don’t let technology use you.
3) When you look at a webpage, what is your eye drawn to and why — do you first look at something you are especially interested in? is it, or is it not necessarily, a photograph or other image, or a video? or is is it more elemental factors that draw you in such as colors and shapes, some flashing thing?
4) Be the messenger: Devote more than the usual energy you would to communicating with students to make up for not being in the shared, common space of a classroom.
5) The challenge in remote teaching is to reach across an unfathomable divide. Start by acknowledging how deep of an expanse that is and meet your students where they are by letting them know where and who you are.
6) Remember what it was like to write a letter, fold and seal it up in an envelope, write the address on it and lick and affix a stamp? Go out and find a mailbox to drop it into and then wait, checking your mailbox everyday except Sunday? The letter had miles to go before reaching the addressee. The distance was palpable and when email came around, we all flocked to it -- and then to its variants, text messaging, messaging apps -- for its immediacy. Sending was immediate and, theoretically, so was could the response be.
Consider the irony: That immediacy is the Zoom classroom. The distance the letter sent must cover to get to its recipient is what lies between students and teacher -- the constraints of space and time that communication over the internet had seemed to render moot.