Thursday, February 2, 2012

Online Learning...Is it a Good Thing?

This week, I took the opportunity to watch a video about online learning. Susan Patrick, the president and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) explains many different reasons why online learning provided better opportunities for students as well as educators. In this video she expressed how online learning enhances the instructional methods to meet each student needs, creating motivation in students, and increasing success of students.

Susan Patrick: Why Online Learning is a Smart Solution

The first point Susan Patrick discusses is the shortage of teachers available in critical subjects such as Physics. In fact, the State of Georgia has four hundred high schools and only eighty-nine Physics teachers. This makes it impossible for every high school to offer the subject. By providing online learning programs, students are able to access learning opportunities that may not be available to them in their high school. It also allows them a self-paced environment. Working one on one with a teacher online, allows students to work at his or her individual pace and still learn the same material as other students.  Not only do the students get the chance to take a subject that may not be available at the school, the educators love the flexibility online learning provides.

Teachers are now able to teach classes that work with his or her free time as well as provides more one on one opportunities with students. Since the teachers are able to use their time differently, it provides the allotment to teach classes outside for the school times. Also, it allows retired teachers the possibility to continue teaching in the comfort of their own time and the amount of classes they prefer to teach. According to Roblyer's Summary of Elements, students need opportunities to study in unique ways, online learning provides this opportunity for students as well as teachers.

Due to this concept of online learning, it is important to provide the teachers with professional development. The best part about online learning is that it allows teachers increase productivity. They will be able to learn on their own time the new resources needed to integrate technology without taking time away from teaching the students. By providing these resources, teachers will be able to save time on lessons, save money on consumable materials, and provide feedback to students much faster.

I completely agree with Susan Patrick; online learning is great concept. Of course, I love my students, and I really enjoy connecting with them on a day to day basis. However, having the possibility to teach online classes may allow me to connect with more individuals across the state, country, and world! It allows me to work with some of my students that may need more one on one direction. I still enjoy the atmosphere of traditional school, however, online schooling is definitely something to think about...


Roblyer, M.D., & Doering. A.H.(Ed.).(Recent edition). Integrating educational technology into teaching. Boston, MA: Allyn&Bacon.

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