Saturday, April 4, 2015

Part 2: What I know about K-12 online learning

Based upon the readings and this website, what did you learn that surprised you?

After completing the readings, one thing I found surprising was the concept of virtual schooling is not new. Before reading "Virtual and Distance Education in North American Schools", I thought virtual schooling was a fairly new concept and it was just now becoming more mainstream in our education system. I did not realize that the independent-study high school movement started in the 1920's and what is different today is technology is just now catching up to the concept.  It is also surprising to know since virtual schooling has become more mainstream that there are only two organizations that offer online schooling that focus on elementary grades.

Were there things you posted in part one that were false (were any of them listed in the 10 myths)?

In my part one posting I wouldn't say I posted anything false or listed in the Top 10 Myths about Virtual Schools, however I would say I did not have a clear understanding about the whole concept of virtual schooling but I feel that I was on the right track.


  1. I also did not realize online learning was becoming so mainstream, or as Professor Siko points out, "There's no getting away from it". There are a lot of teachers who do avoid technology and have great difficulty using it. I wonder what will become of these teachers. We had a teacher at our school just resign because of these. She said she couldn't handle the demands and did not know how to use email or upload pictures. I use several online cloud-based services to save my work. I do this because I'm afraid of a computer crash. After going through several screens to get to a document, a student asked how I could remember all of that. It's all about organization, remembering where you save, and with many programs, "digging". I have shared documents with other teachers and one replied "if only I knew what to do with this". I've said many times that learning technology well requires practical experience. Most of the things I've learned was playing around for the thing I wanted to do and skills I picked up at various jobs.

  2. Everything has its humble beginnings and eventually evolves into something (such as independent study evolving into online learning,) but we are never sure what the next step is in evolution.

    Going off of that, some people are resistant and will refuse to change (or attempt to adapt) with newer technologies and processes. Karen mentioned a teacher resigned, but she learned how to adapt by playing around with the technology and learning how to organize. It really takes learning, practice, and patience. New skills can't be learned overnight.

  3. I agree, I think people are more focused on how much time it will take for them to learn the new technology and not the benefit of learning it. I love the phrase "When you stop learning you become obsolete" I think that is a true statement.