Thursday, December 26, 2013

Online Learning -- Teachers Speak

Rhode Island's Commissioner of Education, Deborah Gist, recently held a digital learning summit in Providence with teachers and principals from throughout Rhode Island. The topic of the summer concerned the increasing shift in the public schools to elearning. The educators commented about the things that excite them and the issues that concern them about online learning:

Benefits of Online Learning

  • Students can progress at their own rate
  • Online learning allows for increased opportunities for customized learning, allowing students to find the learning techniques that meet the strategies that work best for their individual styles
  • Students become more engaged and motivated by the available online tools and games
  • Online learning offers more opportunities for collaborative learning
  • eLearning makes it easier for students to continue a project at home after the school day has finished
  • Using PCs, tablets and smartphones students can learn any time and from any location
  • Students have more access to more information and more data when they use online tools
  • Online learning offers more opportunities for different types of feedback and evaluation
  • Parents can become involved in their child's education by monitoring their work 
Concerns of Online Learning
  • Not all students have access to the same level of Internet and computer tools at home
  • Teachers will need to manage and schedule their curriculum more effectively
  • Some schools find it difficult to stay up to date with the new software and hardware needed to offer high quality online classes
  • Some teachers don't feel prepared to create digital lessons that will require acquiring knowledge of significant amounts of information about sofware and etools, for which they feel ill-prepared. 
  • Working online may make it easier for students to cheat. Other security issues relating to elearning are also of concern to teachers.  

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