Focus Question: What are the advantages and complexities of online leaning and virtual schools?
I understand the need for technology in the classroom. I support it and plan to use it on a regular basis, and I believe it is a necessity for teachers to learn how to teach with technology and students to learn how to use it effectively with the growing use of it in the workforce. I also am not against taking online classes or “blended” as it integrates both face-to-face and collaborative learning with technology. However, I am totally against using ONLY online education to get any degree except in extreme cases (such as immobility causing it to be extremely difficult to get to a school).
I have seen lots of children who have been home-schooled and 9 out of 10 have a lot of trouble communicating properly with other children their own age. This may not be the case with all home-schooled children of course, and other factors will play a role, but in general, a student needs to learn and grow with children their own age. This is ESSENTIAL to thriving in our society. Staying at home has become a trend for a lot of parents who, instead of teaching their kids how to deal with difficult situations, have taken them out of the classroom to “protect them”. This does not protect them. It teaches them to run from their problems and when they enter the real world, they have no earthly idea how to handle a mean boss or co-worker or any real conflict in adulthood.
My daughter (now in her 1st year of college) wanted to quit regular school and take online classes because the kids at school were “totally immature” and aggravating and she didn’t like getting up so early for class. We said NO WAY as she needed to learn to deal with people, the good and the bad, and that in the real world she would likely have to get up early and go to work. Being in school teaches social skills and life lessons needed for adulthood.
Besides, a great education is done BOTH at school and at home.
Tech Tool 6.3
This section in Chapter 6 focuses on some websites and Apps that help students get technology based engagement in certain subject matter. Websites such as ‘Mysteries of Catalhoyuk! An Archaeological Investigation’ allow students to learn about history from thousands of years ago by interacting with the site and getting the students interested in things like what people ate during that time. Who doesn’t want to know what people ate for dinner 10,000 years ago?!
My favorite site listed would have to be www.favoritepoem.org. I plan to teach middle school English and I know children have a hard time trying to decipher the meaning of poems. This site not only reads the poems aloud but has videos to help the student (or anyone interested) relate and understand what is being conveyed. This will be an excellent tool and I have already added it to my Delicious account!
My favorite poem by Robert Frost is "OUT, OUT”. I first read it in high school when my English teacher took me aside (I was having difficulty with the poetry section we were on and was getting frustrated) and said the poem reminded her of me, not because of the working boy who dies, but because of the loss of his childhood, even before his death. It took a few times of reading it before I understood its meaning and then when I did, WOW could I relate as I lost my childhood at a very young age and never got it back. I had to grow up way too soon. I will never forget that teacher and what she saw in me without me speaking of it, and her taking an interest in me and getting me to actually like exploring the meaning of things in more depth.
Chapter 6 in our book discusses information management and how important it is to use not only technology, but different ways to organize what you use and how you use it. Social networking and social bookmarking have become very useful tools in effectively using technology in teaching and reaching out to others who are knowledgeable in certain areas to gain more insight and information to use. And who knows, maybe one day a new teacher will be using information I have gathered and found effective.
This chapter also discusses homeschool vs. public school education and what advocates and critics both feel is right for the students. I do feel it is every parent’s choice to make, but as I stated above, I believe students benefit more from being around and learning to deal with their peers and the adults around them. I do also feel that taking some online classes or courses is beneficial to all students as well to prepare them for college and for the work force.
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.
The Favorite Poem Project. "OUT, OUT—” by Robert Frost , read by Elizabeth Wojtusik [video: produced by Natatcha Estébanez]. Retrieved from Web.
Hogan, Chrystal. Feb 2014. ‘Pros & Con’s’ [photograph].