• “I have no time.”• “There are already too many standards to teach.”• “I don’t have the resources.”• “I have a lower ability group of students.”• “I do not feel that technology should be such a focus in education.”• “My students are too young.”• “My students do not have access to technology at home.”• “I have so many students at various needs that I can’t give them all individual support.” • As educators, we need to stay current with the world around us so that we have a better understanding of how to fully prepare our students to be successful. While there are many challenges within our classrooms, online learning environments can help to support both teachers and students in the learning process. It is not meant to change your teaching, but to support you in teaching.
Teaching in the 21st Century
• “In a national poll by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 80% of the U.S. registered voters who were polled said the public education system is not preparing young people to compete in the global market” (Young, Birtolo, & McElman, 2009).• A survey conducted by Project Tomorrow found that only 23% of students polled said they believed their school was doing a good job preparing them for future jobs (Young, Birtolo, & McElman, 2009).• Are we doing everything necessary to expand our students’ thinking and to prepare them for the future?
• Online Learning can be defined as “education in which instruction and content are delivered primarily via the Internet” (Cavanaugh & Clark, 2007).• “Online learning can give students opportunities to demonstrate mastery of academic concepts while using today’s tools and resources” (Young, Birtolo, & McElman, 2009).• “Virtual Learning Environments give students opportunities to work together in small groups to develop problem-solving, communication, and creative collaboration skills” (Young, Birtolo, & McElman, 2009).
• Building 21st Century skills in our students is incredibly important in strengthening their foundation of grade level subject areas, while also helping students become more globally aware and competent (Young, Birtolo, & McElman, 2009).• We need to prepare students for the future by not just teaching grade level standards, but also encourage that they demonstrate their learning at higher levels.• It is our responsibility to teach our students to be critical thinkers, learn to collaboratively communicate with others, and also be globally aware.
• Encourages collaboration between students both in school and at home• Can be used to promote various kinds of writing• Content can be modified in order to meet students’ various learning needs• Multimedia tools create interactive, engaging content and instructional methods (Cavanaugh & Clark, 2007)• Students who are gifted can learn grade level material and expand their learning through the use of online learning environments• Support students’ multiple learning styles
• Learning Logs – students can journal their reflections of activities or new concepts learned in class.• Live Chat – students can communicate with others in order to work on projects or get help with homework.• Forum posting – students can post files, pictures, and videos and can critique each other’s work.• Multiple Choice Quizzes – ability to give students multiple attempts to retake a quiz. Moodle can also give feedback to students after each quiz to help them achieve a desired score.• Writing Journals – students can type journals using this format and then have the ability to respond to their peers.
• Student created Glossary that all students can access.• A list of websites and resources that students can access both at school and home.• Online Games – create games, such as hangman, for students to use to review concepts and/or vocabulary• Writing Workshop – students can upload their writing and edit/assess each other’s work based on a class rubric. Students can make changes before turning in their final drafts.• Literature Circles & Book Clubs• Embed projects (VoiceThreads, flickr, PowerPoint)• Create a WebQuest• Review notes and lessons• Connect with parents – access to assignments and calendar of events
• Cavanaugh, C., & Clark, T. (2007). The landscape of K- 12 online learning. In R. Blomeyer, & C. Cavanaugh (Eds.), What works in K-12 online learning (pp. 5-19). Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.• Young, J., Birtolo, P., & McElman, R. (2009). Virtual Success: Transforming education through online learning. Learning & Leading With Technology, 36(5), 12- 17.