What Does It Take to Be an Online Educator in the 21st Century?

Traditional college education is part of a long-standing tradition that has mostly stayed constant over time. In this setting, being an instructor has meant adhering to instructional norms that have stayed relatively unaltered. A college professor is someone who is an expert in their field, is likely to be promoted to a post with tenure, and serves as both an educator and a researcher. They are anticipated to be published authors of peer-reviewed scholarly journal publications who have added knowledge to their subject. While this type of education and instructor still exists, another academic institution, an online college or university, has also been developed.

Professorial roles are unlikely to be available in a modern kind of online education. Adjuncts are employed by the majority of online colleges, and many refer to their lecturers as facilitators. Some colleges require their lecturers to complete annual professional development requirements, although writing peer-reviewed journal papers is rarely one of them. A new kind of educator, one who satisfies the demands of pupils who participate in this modern style of education, is needed today more than ever. Now is also the time for online colleges to embrace this new breed of professors, known as Modern Educators.

Traditional to Online Education

The lecture-based class is the conventional method of instructing pupils. Students must demonstrate what they have learnt through various tests after the educator has delivered material to them. They are aware that their professor or teacher is an expert in the subject matter of their class. This is the same form of instruction that is utilised in primary schools, and it is teacher-centered. As technology has opened up new opportunities for education, a new model has emerged: online courses and degrees. Traditional educators used to teach these courses, but that has changed over time, especially as adjuncts have taken over the majority of the teaching responsibilities.

Now that online degree programmes and online institutions have become well-established in the world of education, a new breed of educator has emerged.

From Evolution to Modern Education

The rise of online learning necessitated the hiring of a huge number of teachers. Some online institutions have classes that start every week, while others have programmes that start every month. The solution was to hire adjuncts, and the bulk of jobs teaching undergraduate students were filled by professors with a master’s degree in the relevant field. The number of teachers competent to teach online has increased significantly over time, and many adjunct roles now require a PhD.

The variability in enrollment numbers, the restricted number of full-time online teacher jobs, and the rise in degree specialties – particularly those connected to online teaching – have all contributed to the increasing pool of available online instructors. Many online colleges offer specialties in online teaching, and students who earn their master’s degree are added to the pool. It is estimated that almost two million adjunct online educators are already providing online courses.

Continuing education may be part of the criteria for teaching online. Most online institutions demand that students participate in some type of yearly professional development. Workshops and training courses are commonly offered by these colleges to meet this criterion. Professional development requirements can be met by publishing academic articles, however most colleges do not mandate it. The method in which these modern teachers are permitted to show themselves in the classroom also distinguishes them from a college professor. An online teacher is commonly referred to as a facilitator, rather than a professor, while some instructors will refer to themselves as professors to emphasise their place in the learning process.

Even if the instructor has a PhD degree, several online institutions urge their professors to use their first names to project a more informal and approachable image.

Online Educator

A Modern Educator as an Example

There is a substantial disparity between instructor types in the field of online education. Those who hold a master’s degree can teach undergraduate courses, whereas those who hold a doctorate can teach both undergraduate and graduate students. For those schools that provide doctoral degree programmes, there may still be a need that professors publish in a manner comparable to that of a college professor. However, a new standard is required. Conventional teacher credentials should not apply to online educators if traditional learning methodologies do not apply to online education. A new educational category, known as a Modern Educator, is required at this time.

My teaching career has progressed from traditional college teaching to online education, and I am now a Modern Educator. I write internet papers rather than spending months (or maybe years) attempting to get published in a scientific publication. Rather than having my work available exclusively to individuals who have access to and read scholarly journals, I now have the potential to reach a wider audience. My work is immediately available once I finish writing and publishing it, and, more significantly, I know how to use social media. Through the usage of social media, I am linked to a global network of instructors, universities, and students.

It is possible to exchange ideas and resources, as well as online articles, blog entries, and other intellectual contributions, via social media. This holds true for the evolution of the publication process as well. I self-published e-books rather than waiting for a publisher and going through the usual publishing process. This has allowed me to become more involved in the subject of education, and it has redefined what it means to teach at a college level. Becoming a Modern Educator outlines what online teachers should be doing as part of their professional development, as well as what online schools should be doing.

How to Become a Modern Educator: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you teach online courses, you require professional development whether you have a master’s or doctoral degree. However, this should include more than just attending a workshop; it should also entail making an intellectual contribution. Furthermore, the work of a Modern Educator must include some type of social or professional networking. To become a Modern Educator, you can take the following steps and employ the following tactics.

#1. Create a blog – This gives a forum for you to share your knowledge and skills. You may incorporate what you’ve learned into your blog entries as you continue to undertake study for your areas of professional interest. Word Press, for example, is one of several free sites that will allow you to build and post your blog.

#2. Produce Online Articles – Rather of devoting the time and effort necessary to write and submit articles to scholarly publications, which is always a possibility, look for a resource that allows you to publish articles online. The articles you create will help you to reach a wider audience, improve your writing abilities, and position yourself as a subject matter expert because they are based on your expertise and experience. Ezine Articles is an article marketing database that I use.

#3. Make Use of Social Media – Every online instructor should understand how to use technology to develop their presence. It’s only natural that if you work in a technologically advanced setting, you’d know how to participate in online forums. LinkedIn allows you to network professionally, join organisations that interest you, and even look for online employment. Twitter may link you to a global network of instructors, students, and colleges, as well as provide a platform for resource sharing.

#4. Create a Website – If you’re feeling ambitious and want to do more than just write a blog, you may create your own website. This would be a location where you could save resources that you’ve made and share them with instructors and students. There are free webhosting services as well as paid webhosting services.

#5. Create E-Books – The publishing industry has evolved, and writers are reclaiming control by making their books available in e-book format. The most popular devices are the Kindle and Nook. Another gadget that is gaining traction is the Kobo, which can be used on mobile devices like Blackberry.

You’ll probably need to pay someone to format the book, create an account to distribute your e-book, and after it’s finished, you’ll be able to make it available in a short period of time.

Keeping your status as a modern educator

Someone who is a Modern Educator does more than only teach online programmes. They work in the realm of education and their chosen field of study. They know how to educate with technical tools and use social media to connect with other educators in a virtual community. Through technical tools, the Modern Educator also does research and contributes intellectually. They publish their work using technologically enabled means and make it available to their target audience right away. They know how to promote their work and share information with other educators and students via social media.

It’s past time for the Modern Educator mindset to become the norm in online learning. The structure of instruction has changed from traditional to online, and the instructor has to adapt as well. The new Modern Educator must also be recognised by online schools and hiring specialists. Because of shifting enrollments and staff changes, this person is likely to have taught at many universities; yet, what counts most is their continued professional growth and intellectual achievements. Someone with substantial experience as an online educator is the most suitable candidate for an online teaching position.

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