I’m an eDean in a large rural secondary school and this year I have 31 eStudents in 14 different online classes. I am also a Teacher Librarian and I’m lucky that my students study in a special space in our library so I get to see a lot of them. One of the things that I really like about this position is getting to know the students and following their progress as they strive to become independent online learners.
I love the job! It is very busy with new challenges all the time. I have to keep a constant check on emails from eTeachers and I really appreciate the eTeachers who copy me into their emails to students, let me know when assessments are due and let me know when students are missing from their lessons. I try to keep an overview in my head of where each student is at, so that when I can see them we can talk about their progress and what they are studying at the moment.
Throughout the year there are different tasks that I have to do; talking to students about subject choices, enrolling,setting up rolls and study columns, helping students use online learning sites, supervising assessments, setting up mark books and so forth.
A big part of this role is pastoral. Many students need support at different times, and for different reasons, in order to be successful online learners. You have to be flexible, adaptable, think laterally, believe in lifelong learning, be digitally literate and have a sense of humour to survive as an eDean.
Being an eStudent is not the easiest pathway for many students but I believe they learn skills that will serve them well for any future learning that they do. If I can help them along the way then I will have made a difference to their achievement and helped them on the pathway to becoming independent, self motivated and self managing learners working in a 21st century environment.
Written by Anne Williams, eDean, Ashburton College