liztrimaloff Jun 5, 2012 8:49 AM (in response to lynnettest)
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I truly appreciate how you seem to have embraced the technical evolution. I hope that some of our other teachers can share how they have integrated technology, and learned how all of it works! Your students are fortunate to have you.
kevann Jul 12, 2012 6:46 AM (in response to lynnettest)
Your sense that the role of the teacher is changing to one of being more of a facilitator is right on target given the high investiture in technological methodologies and strategies that are being developed at a rapid rate. That is also being driven by the decrease in funding that has been apparent in education nation-wide resulting in the elimination of teaching positions and the increase in class sizes, particularly in the public schools. The combination of both of those realities has fostered a renewed interest in online education as an approach to help provide students with more of a 'one on one' focus that is rapidly disappearing from the traditional 'brick and mortar' educational setting.
There are plusses and minuses to the new approach that will need to be considered if this at least partial transfer to virtual learning is to become successful. Among the concerns is the lack of the face to face socialization and mentorship that normally occurs in school, and secondly the lack of physical supervision that is also a factor with online learning. Both of those issues will need to be dealt with by the development of strategies that will allow for student contact and an increased sense of accountability on the part of the students.
On the positive side, virtual learning allows for the opportunity for multiple sources of information that often are not available in the traditional school setting as well as more of a self-paced approach which is also becoming less viable in the traditional school setting for most populations given the increased demand for time to be spent on ancillary types of activities and less time spent on actual learning.
I am in my 4th year of teaching AP Art History online in addition to my regular in-school teaching (I am entering into my 41st year of teaching), and recognize that challenges exist in both arenas that are unique to each setting. One thing that never changes, however, is that your learning curve as a teacher continues to grow which absolutely keeps teaching both a challenging as well as an engaging profession.