Structure courses around an array of high quality, interactive learning materials and activities that encourage student-centered collaboration and investigation: Discussion boards, Blogs, Audio/Video sharing, Google docs, Wikis. (Teacher is not main driver of content related discourse.)
Capacity to provide customized instruction more efficiently to accommodate different student needs, increase access to high-level courses, and deliver subject matter in ways not possible with traditional classroom instruction.[ Hybrid learning experience with SPED students engaging effectively in EXTENSION activities normally reserved for Advanced Academic students.
Use of different approaches that are not fully online. (Supports students who are not quite ready for a fully online course develop the skills in online learning that will result in success; Breaks content up into chunks more manageable for students.) Quality content and instruction can be delivered to areas where those resources are not available in any other way.
Special student needs gain new focus. The release of a Request for Proposal in mid-2011 by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs(OSEP), for the establishment of a Center for Online Learning and Students with Disabilities, suggests that the federal government believes that online learning can serve all students. In general, there is a newly sophisticated emphasis on meeting special student needs in online and blended learning.(Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning: An Annual Review of Policy and Practice (2011), P. #6)
Story of “Joyce Mendoza”: speech challenges, shyness; Asperger’s Syndrome; Usual actions in regular class; Actions when given virtual learning opportunity
Story of “Joe”: Needed to look and act really cool for the girls in class, BUT, in virtual class he displayed thinking and effort not seen elsewhere.; Visual barrier of being in presence of those from whom he wanted approval prevented him from attaining content mastery.)
Discourse should be open and content-centered; it may be facilitated through threaded discussions, chat, or synchronous class sessions that include audio/video exchange, e-mail, and instant messaging.
Reflection: In addition, the student is given time to reflect on the information before responding.; Then students can assess their own thinking based on how they see others responding.
Engagement: PIP videos is a start to do this with MS students. Include a recuring element, such as the “Meet the Dogs Moment”; award badges for module completion; timely feedback;
Variety; Meet needs with one tool or another; Collaboration
“Teacher’s Lounge” idea: Increase engagement out of online classroom; Invite students in