The iNACOL Standards are really not all that different from the standards in a traditional classroom. Online teachers are required to stay up to date on best teaching practices and pedagogy, provide meaningful learning activities and assessments to their students, and maintain professional interactions with all students, colleagues, and parents. The standards also require online teachers to prepare students for the future, use a range of strategies and technology tools, provide differentiated instruction and accommodations to learners, and provide students with clear expectations and prompt feedback. These are all standards that traditional classroom teachers are also expected to meet, but the way in which they are met is what may differ in an online environment. Online teachers have to understand that community building and communication with students is going to be very different in an online environment, and they must know how to adapt and cater to these differences. Online teaching also tends to be more student-centered than in a traditional classroom, so it is very important for online teachers to know and implement best practices and strategies that support this type of learning environment. I think one of the most important standards that is different from that of a traditional classroom is that of teaching students about digital citizenship and how to be safe online. I also think it is extremely important for online teachers to have a deep understanding of the technology tools they are using and trouble-shooting procedures in order to ensure that the logistics of using technology do not get in the way or hinder the learning process. I feel that online teachers are required to meet all the standards of traditional classroom teachers plus some because of the added technology element.
As I read through the readings this week, I thought a lot about how I could bring Psychology concepts alive and make them more meaningful in my classroom through the use of technology. I found some simulations and activities that I feel my Psychology students could really enjoy. These sites make it possible for students to experience things that they would not be able to without the use of technology.