Updated: May 18
To say, I believe in the power of education would be an understatement. To say that I believe in the skill of teaching would be even more.
I have been a private and public school middle and high school teacher in Washington, DC. For the past ten years, I have led an education company, Transcend Academy, that has prepared over 20,000 high school students for college.
More importantly, I am the mom of a five-year-old boy. When expanding online the education services of my second company Lana Learn, I was not only venturing into e-learning for my business, I was also entering e-learning for my own child. The stakes were high, and I knew I had to get it right. Here some things I learned along the way:
1. It is about student results
I care about my child and want him to learn. Even though he is only five years old, I want him to not only understand the subject matter, but I also want him to develop from an early age the love of learning. I like that someone is guiding him through development milestones and through personal assessments to track his learning. Beyond that, I want my son to learn how to use technology seamlessly. The future of online learning is not looking backwards; it is only propelling forward. That is why Lana Learn keeps student results at the heart of what we do.
2. Students own the learning process (and bonus time for parents too)
While I am a teacher by profession, at home I am mom. I like this separation of roles and responsibilities. Teaching and personalizing learning for each child is an incredibly hard job, and being a mom at home is as well. Meanwhile, I like the fact that my son is developing independence, where he can own the learning process for himself. Therefore, during the times when he is with his online teacher learning reading, writing, and math; I am usually nearby but not right next to him. Meanwhile, I can enjoy a cup of coffee – in solitude! That is a treat for me, too. That is why Lana Learn believes in cultivating mentor-mentee relationships between teacher and student alongside educational results.
3. Use all the online tools at our disposal
In an in-person classroom, teachers can use physical space and all five senses--sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch--to focus students on learning. That’s not the case when learning online. Students can only use three senses: sight, sound, and touch. To increase engagement online; it’s important to apply collaborative tools: whiteboard, screenshare, and chats. When both teacher and students easily manage these tools, they can greatly enhance the e-learning experience. That is why Lana Learn trains all teachers to effectively use different collaboration tools for a more optimal e-learning experience.
4. Communication with families
In-person and online teachers are doing an incredible job every day. They endure daily challenges trying to work with students, engage them, transition them to online teaching, and manage different learning levels. Teachers must diligently provide information to families so they can track their children’s’ progress, offer feedback, and assign homework. That is why Lana Learn has all teachers complete individual student reports after each class to communicate with parents.
5. Patience with the process
In the past month, I have been transitioning my son to online learning. He is still getting use to meeting with a teacher virtually and using the tools online. It took him four tries for him to get comfortable with the technology, platform, and teacher; but now he enjoys it. That is why Lana Learn believes in hands-on customer service with with families, students, and teachers as we transition into online learning.
I have become a BIG fan of e-learning. My son can access his teacher from anywhere and enjoys his teacher’s engagement and enthusiasm to help him learn. When my son returns to school, I’m going to continue with his online classes to supplement and strengthen his educational journey and love for learning. With these lessons learned, through Lana Learn I can continually find betters way to help young learners like him learn online.