David Chiesa, a clinical assistant professor in the department of language and literacy education and coordinator of the online TESOL and world language education program, set up a tutoring program at a Walton County elementary school prior to COVID-19. When the pandemic hit, Chiesa quickly adapted the program to a unique hybrid format.
The tutoring program brings undergraduate and graduate students in the College together to help children at Bay Creek Elementary School. Each elementary student is paired with one undergraduate and one graduate student. Both students attend the child’s tutoring session—one via Zoom and one face-to-face.
“It’s about teaching the students who are Zooming how to teach online and teaching the student teaching face-to-face how to teach a student who is with you,” he said. “There are a lot of different layers going on.”
According to Chiesa, this helps the college students comprehend technological pedagogical content knowledge, understanding how technology influences the way one conceptualizes teaching, while simultaneously improving elementary school students’ language skills.
“In teaching language in an era of online spaces, you have to reconceptualize the space and how technology influences the teaching and learning,” he said.