Monday, March 30, 2015

Online Learning- Week 13

Just as I thought, I was wrong about online learning. After reading the "Top Ten Myths about Virtual Schools", I've learned that my technology class is absolutely considered online learning. I was one of the people who thought that "virtual schools are a separate delivery system from traditional education" (NACOL). Because my students are in a classroom with me, I truly believed that my class wouldn't be considered online learning. Which brings me to myth three, I thought that online schooling required a teacher to be on the other end of the technology, not in the classroom with the student. This is untrue. The truth is that "students typically have more one-on-one interactions with their teachers and fellow students in online courses, especially when team projects are assigned" (NACOL). I find this to be very accurate. I interact with my students constantly and do find that I have better relationships with them than many of their other teachers.

Conversely, some of the myths that were listed I would have never even considered to be true. I would never think that online learning is for "gifted students" only. If anything, it should be more for the students who need extra help.I also would have never thought that online teachers have it easier. One of my goals is to become an online educator and I know that I'm in for a ton of work. Classroom teachers may have to deal with things that online teachers do not, like behaviors, but online teachers have to deal with things that classroom teachers do not, like how to teach a student what they do not understand without actually being there. I also hate that some people think that online courses are "add-on's" to an already burdened system. Adding technology and making education and learning more flexible is only a benefit to learners. 

After reading the Barbour article, I was surprised to see just how huge online learning truly is. He spoke of places all over the world embracing online learning for over ten years! The Roblyer article also surprised me with how many students drop out from online courses. I know many people who can not stand online classes because they have a hard time self motivating but I didn't think that the average range would be "as low as 10% or as high as 40—60%" (Zucker and Kozma, 2003; Oblender, 2002).


  1. I agree, I think that a teacher, no matter what type of classroom they are teaching in, faces challenges. I think it would be very difficult showing a student some skills that couldn't be demonstrated using a hands-on approach. How do you think online teachers accomplish this? It seems it would be particularly difficult with elementary students.

    1. Good question. The first thing that comes to mind if I were in a situation that my explanation and examples just weren't cutting it for the students is using video. I would think that actually recording myself doing the hands on task would set the students on the right track. Also giving them links to other videos could help.

  2. I agree, I find a huge struggle with recommending this for elementary students. I think the issues outnumber the strengths.

  3. I agree, I find a huge struggle with recommending this for elementary students. I think the issues outnumber the strengths.

  4. You all bring up great points. Teachers face challenges whether in a face-to-face or online setting. When faced with showing a task that a student may not get online (even through video) then a student may choose the option of taking a course in a face-to-face setting. However with videos, the student has the option of pausing and going back to see each step (especially if the video is put together correctly.)

    For elementary students, I know older grades are introduced to online learning and do online testing at some schools in the classrooms (around 4th and 5th grade.)

  5. Thank you! Yes, videos are a wonderful thing! I am seriously considering beginning to record a lot of my presentations and just show them to the students. It would make things so much easier for me because I would not have to make the same presentation over and over. It would also enable the students to go back and review what I taught or learn it for the first time if they were absent!

  6. I'm not really surprised so many students drop out of online classes. I can see a certain personality type that would not do well. They can be failing before you know it because they do not have someone harassing them daily. I have 4 students who habitually don't so their homework or classwork. I also know some adults who may drop out having waited to long and cannot catch up.

  7. Recording presentations would definitely be a great idea, Victoria. You can always update the material when needed. Karen, I'm not really surprised about the drop out rate, either. Procrastination really hurts students who take online courses and they learn the hard way.