Well the obvious advantages of distance education is being at home and going at your own pace (or at least at a resonable pace).  In addition, I believe that distance education is more hands-on learning and I have found that is the way to learn–I mean really learn. 

The biggest disadvantage to distance learning as to be the personal aspects of learning–the face-to-face learning that takes place in classrooms all across the country.  While I would love to teach from home, I believe there is something to be said about face-to-face learning.

So how do we combine these two great things and make them work?  That is a question I hope to learn.  I would consider using distance education in my classroom if I the technology capabilities were there, but sadly I have very little access to my students learning via the internet.  A couple of my students have no access to the internet at home and several of my parents have no idea what the internet even is let alone how to use it.  If I could use distance learning in my classroom, I would use it for reading and writing purposes.  There are lots of books online, podcasts of books and authors, instructional videos about reading and writing (united streaming and brainpop), grammar sites, scholastic book orders, tapped in..the possibilities are endless.  I love technology at least when it comes to using it for learning.

But how to use it where I am.  If you have any suggestions, please feel free to advise.  Until next time….

Wow!!  Let me say that again backwards  Wow!!!  I had no idea of the endless possibilities that Tapped In could offer.  I just typed in Language Arts in the group session and found so many resources I was amazed.  I knew Tapped In existed last semester, but I really had no idea what it was or what to use it for–and I still have a long way to go. 

While talking to some of colleagues, I realized they were using Tapped In for all sorts of purposes.  Some were using it for AP English and Literature, some high school teachers are using it for reading and writing online, and even elementary teachers are using it as resources for their students in English and Literature.  And that my friends is just the beginning. 

This will be something I need to explore further.  Until next time……

As I read Victoria’s tips for today, I found out some important things to keep you going–as teachers of course.  You can check out the “Ten Totally Random Tips for Teachers”  on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.

One of the tips involved “Beauty Breaks” for teachers.  Victoria’s “beauty breaks” are to make yourself feel more alive halfway through the day by brushing your teeth, reapplying some makeup touch-ups, and pulling up your hair.  While I know this may not work for the male teachers, I am excited to try it at work tomorrow.  There is nothing like a pick-me-up to get you through the day–and since coffee is out the question for me–I’m thinking Victoria is on the right track. 

You can also check some other cool ideas that Victoria has to share by following these links…

http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2009/08/message-to-educators-i-believe-in-you.html and http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2009/05/keep-on-keeping-on.html

Until next time……

In one of OLDaily’s latest blogs, Stephen is wondering about whether E-Colleges and free online courses could raise achievement–and more on the point–are these economical changes going to finally clue people in on the importance of online learning?  

While I am not happy about our economy, I have to admit some of the changes have caused good things to happen–not only is something finally free (education?) but people get to experience learning from their comfy chairs in their own home.  Who can ask for anything more?  Except maybe that the government forgives all my loans :)

I have experienced both classes in a classroom and online learning, so I can speak from experience when I say online learning is good.  The only drawback that I see to online learning is the loss of face-to-face interaction.  While I realize that with new technology we can do face-to-face things via online learning, I still wonder if it will ever replace learning that takes place in a classroom.  Who knows….

Check out this website and see what you think.  Until next time….

http://education.change.org/blog/view/e-colleges_free_online_courses_likely_to_raise_achievement

In chapter two, Kearsley discusses networks and the ability for everyone to become connected.  While colleges and universities use this as online learning/distance education, many K-12 schools have an altogether different purpose.  The K-12 use the internet for a library system, electronic field trips, and even collabortive projects.  Larger orgainzations such as government and coporations use the internet as information management, educational, and training applications.  Even nonprofit organizations have joined the internet community to find ways to enhance their membership and gain more public exposure.  Kearsley also points out that the home is the place where the internet is used most–with more and more people logging onto the internet the vast amount of learning is endless.  

So what does all this information have to do with me??  Well I believe that I knew about most places and uses of the internet, but I don’t believe that I thought about them in the way Kearsley presented them in chapter two.  I guess the biggest thing is that I never realized just how much technology has become a part of everyone’s life–not just mine.  Somehow I thought it was just about me.  :)  Until next time…….

As I was reading chapter one of Kearsley, it occured to me that I had always thought that computer-based instruction or assisted instruction was the same thing as online or distance education.  Before beginning college, I had little understanding of computers or what they were used for–or how to use them for that matter.  As I entered college and began instruction in computers, I found out a small portion of what technology really meant.  In the last few years of college, technology has began to be a part of my everyday experiences.  I use my computer for nearly everything–to keep in touch, to function at my job, to complete my classes, and even an occasional game or video.  Our book points out that online education is so much more than what I thought–it’s connecting, collaborating, student-centered, unboundless, a community, exploration, shared knowledge, multisensory experiences, and it is authentic.  I believe that I use technology for all those things–just never realized it.  Thanks to Dr. Lowell I might find out really what online or distance education is all about.  Until next time…..

Reading over some of the discussion board topics, I was suprised to hear that students in the middle school were no longer reading.  Now don’t get me wrong, I assume that reading for the students of today could be considered boring–since video games and large amounts of technology play such a huge part of today’s students.  But what happened to making reading fun–maybe even interesting.  I currently teach reading to 4th-9th grade and have several chapter books going at once.  Funny though, my students love to read.  Now statistically these students may be an exception to the norm, but I would like to believe that it is because I make reading an adventure and not a chore.  I often pick chapter books that have a movie, so at the end we can watch the movie.  Often we compare and contrast the movie and book, as well as, write an analysis of the book.  In addtion, students are required to complete a project (of their own choosing) about the book.  I, of course, make a list of acceptable project guidelines and rubric for them to follow.  Here is a novel idea (no pun intended), maybe if we love what we teach–students will love what they learn–or maybe they will want to read.  Funny, it worked for Tom Sawyer–just maybe it will work for your students.

Painting can be fun...just ask Tom

Painting can be fun...just ask Tom

Last night was definatley and eye-opening experience. I’m not sure that I ever thought of technology as anything more than computers and things that plug in. While I do believe the real purpose of technology is to make our lives easier, I didn’t equate that to my brain or even to the wheel. Funny, how things can be put into perspective when we think of things in a different way. If I understand correctly, technology is so much more than computers–its something that improves the current state we are in–improves our way of exsistance–improves our lives–changes our way of thinking–then technology is everything. Humm…..

Endless Possibilities

Endless Possibilities

After last nights chat, I realize that I am somewhat in over my head. Since I am a little behind in my classes, I feel as if I am drowning in the flood of technology. At least for right now. Just as Dr. Lowell expressed last night, I have been trained not to ask questions–to do it on my own. This past week has taught me that doing on my own isn’t always possible. I will be asking questions and Dr. Lowell may get tired of answering :) Either way, I want to stop drowning and at least go to a good solid float. Maybe by the end, I gain some buoyancy.dart_buoy_wave_650

I have to admit before I started technology classes, I never really thought about distance education. The best definition of distance education that I can come up with is a way to communicate learning from a distance through technology. Sadly, that definition is probably too simple. Personally I believe that learning takes place through hands-on experiences and for me distance education provides lots of hands-on experience.

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