So, after lengthy discussion about online learning platforms (@eabbey), I started pondering the idea of taking my 7th and 8th grade language arts classes to a predominantly online structure. I could see this working. Not only working, but becoming a much more efficient and educationally sound way of teaching and learning.
Here are my thoughts. So, students have your class material online. What material? Well, this would depend on what you wanted them to do. It might be a video or podcast of you teaching, discussing, modeling, etc. It might be a link to a website, or a Keynote/PowerPoint type slideshow. It might be an activity or a discussion topic. It would depend, but it would be appropriate and relevant to your topic.
The students would then work through your class while posting to forums, creating projects and utilizing the internet and various resources…and you could just sit back and relax, right?! HA, yeah right! This is your opportunity to do what you love the most (at least if you are the type of educator I’d want for my child).
This is where you have a chance to post back to questions on the forum, or comment on your students’ posts. This is also where you have your ONE-ON-ONE time with students! That’s what we all want and need, right? You’d have time to assist the students that need help, and challenge the students that excel. This is our chance to differentiate instruction and meet the needs of students on different levels.
Would this be hard work for the instructor? Yes, more than just opening a book and assigning number 1-20. At the same time, it wouldn’t be more work than what you are already doing if you are teaching at a rigorous and relevant level…
Online college classes have been around forever, but online instruction in the K-12 setting? That’s an idea that needs explored.