written by Alistair Dickinson
In these still early days of the internet more & more students & corporate clients are expecting some form of online component to the courses we are offering. Instead of some form of transference of classes online, most prefer some form of blended learning; a mixture of normal face-to-face lessons with an online addition. So if you are not already involved online, you really should be looking into possibilites.
Here at Developing Teachers.com we offer Moodle hosting, a platform that you can use for any degree of online learning. For more information http://www.developingtheweb.com/moodle.htm
We also use Moodle to offer our own online development courses for teachers at
A general overview to online learning is provided in Online Teaching by Hockly & Clandfield, another very practical book from Delta Publishing, which brings together a wide variety of resources, ideas & activities to get you involved.
The book consists of an introductory section that defines terms & then three main sections; the first dealing with Software & Liveware, the second a host of activities & the third focuses on online development routes.
Within the Software section there is a useful list of links to tools & programmes to choose from: course site tools (eg. Elgg, Moodle, Wikispaces, Google Groups), activity tools (eg. links to blog, chatware, concordance sites, mindmaps, podcasting etc) - something on most things you will need to set up your online presence. Some of the recommended do require a degree of technical knowledge to actually set up while others are achieved through a couple of clicks.
The Liveware section deals with 'the basic behaviors that we regularly carry out online' eg. meeting & greeting, celebrating achievements & being polite.
The second larger section consists of; The starting line - students getting to know each other, Reading & writing, Listening & speaking, Language & evaluation & the finishing line - ending a course. Each section could easily be expanded to fill a complete book so what is offered is a series of considered practical & realistic sample of activities in each section.
Some of the activities deal with using existing classroom activities in an online environment eg. a find someone who task in a chatroom, a reading race that provides each question when the previous one has been answered, & others adapt the online tools & information to our uses eg. reading historical tweets & discussing favourites. All are clearly laid out with the tools, the technique & a comment on the task which might include a variation. There are lots of ideas & after reading them all you will need no persuading that there is little that cannot be achieved online.
The last section, the online development routes, provides a range of ideas & links to explore.
So if you're new to online teaching, Online Teaching by Hockly & Clandfield is your starting point.