When it is Tough to Stay Focused… How to Motivate Myself

It can be tough to stay focused when learning or working at home. What can you do to keep yourself motivated?  This is not an easy problem. All of us from young to very old have to do stuff sometimes that we would prefer not to do. How many of us get excited about cleaning? About grocery shopping?  About doing taxes? About reading a very boring, uninteresting Ukrainian novel for a class or a book club. Or about reading history, chemistry, physics, or nutrition textbooks? Some reading has engaging, enjoying, interesting ideas, characters and plots; others don’t.  Some of our writing assignments can be really tough to get started on and then to do. For teachers, reading essay after essay after essay can vary from uplifting to stimulating to discouraging.     So how…
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Thrust into Online Learning Overnight? Changing Your Mindset to Thrive

Are you overwhelmed with the idea of teaching online?  Is this something that you believe that you simply can’t do? Have you said things like, “I don’t believe in online learning.”  Or “I don’t think online learning can be effective.” Or “I don’t think I can do it.”   Now, in the flash of a virus, you are an online teacher and your students are online learners.   You have not had any time to redesign your lessons or your course.  What do you do?  If you are thinking this way, you will want to change your mindset. First of all, what is a mindset? Your mindset is the sum of your thoughts and beliefs, in this case, about online teaching and learning. These thoughts and beliefs affect your attitude and your motivation for teaching.  So,…
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Four Habits for Sanity and Productivity when Teaching and Learning at Home

It is easy to lose track of time when teaching and learning at home. Before you know it, it is lunch time, and then time for getting outside and moving around and soon the sun is setting, and you have accomplished almost nothing! Here are four quick suggestions for everyone — age 7 to 75. This is really quick, so please comment and make suggestions. Absolutely first task of the day — Create a combined schedule and to do list for yourself. Be as specific as possible. If you are a student, you might write down that you will watch a video at 10:30 a.m. But more than that. You want to remember something from the video, so write a task that includes watching the video and taking notes. Write down…
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Help in Quickly Moving Online

Transitioning from teaching face-to-face to online teaching usually takes time, planning and ideally, help from instructional designers. Depending on faculty experience with course management systems and discussion forums and video conferencing tools, it is not unusual for preparation to take from 20 to 60 hours. Faculty being directed to move online spontaneously can experience a great deal of stress, anxiety and trepidation. To help with this unanticipated transition, cancelling other types of faculty responsibilities for a few weeks can help. For getting started, this tip on Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online might be helpful. Also check out other tips in the Library of eCoaching Tips or the The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips that organizes and updates all the tips. It is also available at…
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