Saturday, April 11, 2015

Virtual Schooling Follow up

To follow up on last weeks' post, I am reflecting on the posted prompts .

Would you have appreciated the opportunity to take online courses when you were in school?
I would have appreciated the opportunity to go to take online courses. I went to a high school where many of the students were affluent, and I was not. I had difficulty identifying with the other kids I went to school with. I was also somewhat socially awkward and did not speak up if there might be a chance I was wrong. I really couldn't wait to get out of high school, and I think this experience caused me to postpone going to college right of school. There were many events happening, personally, and socially, that prevented me from being the best student I could be. Considering my daughter is like me, I am really going to have to consider this with her. As a parent, I want to challenge her to overcome this as I had to, but I also don't want her to hate school.

What/How is online learning utilized in your current situation?
In my current situation, I have a full-time job and two kids who also have responsibilities. There is too many places to be in day. Online learning has allowed me to take classes I would otherwise be unable to take, Additionally, it has allowed me to individualize for my students somewhat in many areas. Having a smart phone also gives me these much needed reminders of what needs to be done and who needs to be where.

What types of students/learners are engaging in online courses where you work? How do they fit with the descriptions from the readings?
All of my students participate in online learning using a program I purchased. It is slowly being adopted by the other teachers. I found it interesting , though, when last year one of my brightest students made a comment to me. He said he didn't like it, he liked it better when I did it to the whole class on the Promethean board. However, only he and 3 other students could understand the math only this way, the other students needed more, such as the online tutorials and digital manipulatives. I have also talked to other teachers about their online learning experiences. Several teachers are getting their Masters through accelerated programs at a reputable university where the classes are only 4 weeks long and they have the same group members during their entire time. I really don't agree with either scenario. I have talked to a teacher who got her Masters in Educational Technology. She said it was a new program and they just kept taking the same classes over again???? This is startling. There was nothing about design or planning or development. I also have had groups where I did not get along with the group members, or they didn't do their fair share, or they liked to criticize without giving suggestions. I can't imagine being with those group members for the entirety of my graduate school experience. I feel like you have to find a very fine balance between online learning and taking short cuts. There should still be the same academic expectations as a traditional environment.

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