Chapter 6 Fostering Online Learning with Educational Websites and Apps
Focus Question: What are the advantages and complexities of online learning and virtual schools?
Online learning for some students can be very beneficial. One major advantage is that the student does not have to physically be in the classroom to be learning material. Some students learn better using and online class. I personally do not do that well in online classes because I like to be in the classroom setting. I feel that I learn better with a teacher right in front of me teaching material. However, not all students are like this. Some students would prefer being taught online. There may be some students that are one credit away from graduating and an online class would be perfect because they can move at their own pace.
Virtual schools have revolutionized how classes area being taught. Students no longer have to be in a physical classroom to earn a diploma. Some students feel more comfortable at home doing work at their own pace. Students would no longer have to feel pressured to keep up with the entire class and can feel free to do things their way. Virtual schools allows teachers to video conference with students if they need any help with anything. When I was taking English 3 online I would be able to email or text my teacher at 9 PM and she would reply to me. Of course there were some times that replies took longer but I felt that I could contact my teacher at any time. In virtual schools you are allowed to use YouTube videos to help enhance your students learning. When I was in high school even teachers were not allowed on YouTube on their computers. One complexity of virtual schools is keeping students motivated to do work on time. My friend is in virtual school and he rushes to do everything at the last minute. I think that if he was in an actual class with a teacher reminding him every once in awhile that something is due then he would not procrastinate like he does.
|Photo Credit to: giulia.forsythe on Flickr|
Tech Tool 6.1 Preselecting Websites for Teaching:
Sending students to the Web without prior guidance is never a good idea. Students become easily distracted, lost, veer deliberately off task, and may visit inappropriate sites. Many teachers prescreen and select the web resources they want students to visit as part of a class or homework assignment. One web-based resource listed is Portaportal. It is a preselection tool that acts as an online library of the webpages you commonly use in you lessons. It enables teachers and students to manage web searches by bookmarking specific websites that are accessed and organized through your web browser. teachers can use this tool to focus students on websites that they have specifically chosen for their value as instructional and learning resources. Another resource for bookmarking is Connotea. This is an online reference management tool that creates bibliographies in correct citation formats. This would be extremely useful when doing research papers.
All in all I believe online schools and virtual learning is a great thing. I myself took an online courses and I wouldn't be where I am with my education if I did not have them. I know my strengths and weaknesses and although online courses aren't one of my strengths I am grateful to have them. I feel that online schools would benefit many students and could help them achieve great things.
Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.