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Overall I see this as a good idea. With this class being an online course, I guess I am biased in the fact that I am an online student.
I recently got married and because my husband is in the military I had to switch over my major and by next semester will be a completely online student, working from a different state without having to change schools.
This enables me to be able to be with my husband, whereas before, I thought that I would have to remain here or drop out, distance learning gave me the solution to finish my degree, not have to deal with switching schools, and to be with my husband.
We need to incorporate both styles of learning to better meet the needs of students.
A key time is when students start to fall behind and are at risk to drop out because of difficulty.
“ The redesigns, which make strategic use of online resources, most often in a blended format, lead to significantly improved student achievement and reduced costs” (Milliron 2010).
“ Finally, ‘life happens’ is still the most often reported challenge for working, part- time, and returning students. Kids get sick, parents fall ill, work schedules change, jobs get lost, cars break down-- and learning takes a back seat. …[A]dding an online section or even a blended component to a course can significantly increase the likelihood that a working student or parent will not only attend but succeed” (Milliron 2010).
I whole heartedly agree with the author of this article. We need to stop arguing that our way is better and start to learn how to compromise.
The only thing that I have in defense is that there is no where in our culture where we do this. Government is torn in two, church against state, religion against non-religion, religion against other religion.
I will say it again, there is not one place in our culture that we compromise, maybe if we take Milliron’s advice, education can be the start of that long road.
'Blended' Learning Seeks the Right Mix
This article states that the best solution to student success is to blend in-person learning with online learning.
There was a study done by the Chicago Virtual Charter School over a five year period, that the students spent just over two hours, one day a week in class with a teacher and the rest of the week at home doing online learning. This vastly improved the success of the students.
There were some bumps along the road, but with good feedback, the staff where able to correct the errors to make the program run more smoothly.
Another school, the Florida Virtual School, is doing an in lab learning, where the students work on computers with a facilitator in the room and send in their assignments to the online instructor.
This also had a hidden helper not for the students but for the teachers. They found that having the facilitator be a new teacher, they could be in the classroom helping the kids hands-on while the experience mentor teacher was the online instructor.
This eliminated putting an inexperienced teacher in a classroom with no guidance and helped to have guidance for the new teacher while giving the kids the help they needed.
It seems that incorporating online courses is the best way to go.
This concept of having online courses for grades k-12 never occurred to me. I thought that independent courses were only good for college students who had the discipline to do the tasks asked of them without guidance from a teacher.
This has opened my eyes to the possibilities of having students as young as 5 have the same level, if not more, than of college aged students.
This might even create a more self-disciplined college student since they have been doing independent courses from the start.
There is no real right answer about distance learning.
In the end it comes down to how each child learns and what type of learning will go best with that child.
We are all made unique, this is no different in learning.
There is times when strict in-person teaching is best, when blended teaching is best, and even when complete distance learning is best.
You just have to know when is it the best for what situation.
Ash, K. (2010). 'blended' learning seeks the right mix: schools combine virtual and face-to-face teachers to meet student needs. Education Week, 30(4), Retrieved from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=2153176221&Fmt =3&clientId=13225&RQT=309&VName=PQD
Edge, W, & Loegering, J. (2000). Distance education: expanding learning opportunities. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 28(3), Retrieved from http:// www.jstor.org/stable/3783598
Milliron, M. (2010, October 31). Online vs. traditional learning: time to end the family feud. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Retrieved from http :// proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=2178883411&Fmt =3&clientId=13225&RQT=309&VName=PQD