I am an English teacher at PHS teaching English 11, AP Language and Composition, as well as DE English 111 and 112 through Reynolds Community College. I am also the Gifted Resource Teacher. When I am not in the classroom, you can find me in the auditorium as the Theatre director. I am an avid collector of kittens…so, if you have any that need a good home, I’m your guy.
I guess my goals for this program is to learn about the online learning environment and how to incorporate it into my classroom. I am not very familiar with eLearning outside of what our school has us do online.
Blogging is not that far-fetch or new since we have similar ways already to work with students – such as Facebook and Schoology. I have never used Twitter and my “how-do” was my first tweet. I don’t know how Twitter would be beneficial for a class / instruction since you are limited to characters and, I can post whatever and send it to the students without limitations via email and our own classroom website.
From this week’s reading, I began to think differently about the benefits of distance learning. Usually when I hear online learning or online classes, I think of those students who are motivated and eager to learn. It was refreshing (?) to read to distance learning helps students with special needs or other developmental / behavioral issues. I am a big face-to-face teacher and believe that that is the best way to reach students. I use my classroom website as a tool for students to keep up-to-date with the class; however, I prefer actually having them in class instead of doing a complete online class — it’s more personable that way. I also still struggle with all of the autonomy students have with online classes since, in my opinion, they have such a hard time with time management and organization. If students cannot manage their time wisely and stick to deadlines with a parent/teacher constantly reminding them of whatever, how can they be expected to be mature enough to handle an online class. I’ve seen this when I taught online summer school… students were left to their own devices (pun intended?) and failed miserably because they had poor management of their time and work ethic. I also worry that students participating in nothing but online classes will miss out on real-life social interactions and not know how to function properly (responsibly / maturely) in society away from their computer or other electronic device.
It will be interesting to see the literature and research out there arguing both sides as MOOCs become more of a common practice. I am still not sold on the benefits and how practical using Twitter is as an instructional / educational tool. I get that I post a quick announcement or a fancy #hashtag; however, I can do that a multitude of other ways and still reach students. Why create one more thing students and teachers have to keep track of? Just create a simple classroom webpage and be done with it….it’s a one-stop shop. Who knows though, maybe in November I’ll be changing my mind…