Tag Archives: eLearning

Credentialing vs. Learning Online: Navigating the Tension

In Ontario, AQ [Additional Qualification] courses for Teachers are Approved by the Ontario College of Teachers.  There are very specific components of an AQ Course that must be completed in order to achieve the qualification, which then demonstrates to others in Ontario that you are capable and competent in teaching in specific grade or subject areas, or in certain areas such as eLearning or Special Education.

Most of these AQ Courses are now available online.

The tension comes when teachers taking an online AQ think that online secondary school courses should follow the same principles and practices as the online AQ.

AQ Courses are normally provided through an LMS (Learning Management System).  They are content driven, linear, and require the completion of specific tasks.  Much of the “community building” and sharing is through online text-based discussions.  Assignments are uploaded to a dropbox and evaluated by an instructor, normally without any triangulation of assessment (conversations, observations, products).

But is this how we want teachers to then go back and teach our students in online environments?

Are we demonstrating that online learning is not meant to be the “dissemination of teacher-driven content“,  but a way to give learners agency and ownership of their own learning, outside of the confines of classroom walls, and teacher-defined content?

And when the course is the credential [AQ] for “Teaching and Learning Through eLearning”,  how can we ensure that we model open practice,  inquiry and learner agency, within a linear, compliance-based model?

Those achieving the AQ must recognize that eLearning is much more than what the online AQ is modelling, or we continue to perpetuate old teacher-directed product-based classroom structures through those we qualify to lead online learning in this province.

Featured image by Tanguy Sauvin on Unsplash

The Compelling Case for Change: TELL 2016

This year’s Technology Enabled Learning and Leading Symposium for Principals is wrapping up today.  Yesterday we had the opportunity to have conversations with Dr. Tony Wagner about how the current pathways for our students are no longer leading to success.

Creating that Compelling Case for Change is so critical.  We are in times of exponential change, yet for many, this change is invisible as we continue to do things as we have always done in our education system.

Earlier in the week, I had the pleasure of leading, with Mark Carbone, a group of PQP and SOQP instructors in an examination of why change is needed and how we might start considering our work in online spaces differently.

We have included the slides and some of our thinking below.

 

Featured Image: Most Likely to Succeed

For Credit or for Learning?

As we think about the needs of learners in online environments, there is one dichotomy that we often forget.

Some students take online courses because they need a credit or qualification for a life pathway, not because the want to learn.

I was first introduced to this thinking as a secondary online teacher , and I wrote about it on my old blog, School 2 Go, seven years ago .

I am returning to this dichotomy today as I think about how to differentiate the AQ I am currently teaching.  Many of my teacher candidates have yet to find consistent work in the teaching profession in Ontario even though they have a wealth of experience.  For some of them, this course is just a qualification needed to help them find work.  They are busy raising families, doing other paid work and just trying to make it in a system that is so challenging for new educators.

How do I, as an instructor, challenge their thinking and model the kind of online learning we want for our students and teachers, while respecting their need to just “get through it”? How do I remain present in their learning from a distance without becoming a burden to achieving their goals?

This will be part of my personal inquiry going forward.

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http://fryedblog.blogspot.ca/2009/06/i-didnt-take-this-course-to-learn.html

 

 

Featured image credit: Proctor Archives via Compfight cc

Is eLearning for You? Yes it is!

“eLearning may not be for everyone.”

Really?

What if you are the only student at a high school needing a credit in SPH4U? eLearning might be your only option.

As educators, are we really saying that eLearning might not be for this student?

Or should we be saying, eLearning is just learning, and we will adapt our instructional methods to the learning needs of the student just as we would in any other public education setting.

Would we ever say, “Oh, classroom learning might not be for you because you have difficulty sitting in one place for 75 minutes”?

It’s time to challenge the myths around eLearning.

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Shared by Alan Levine CC-BY-2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/10167609435/

 

eLearning is NOT putting distance learning materials into an online format.

eLearning is NOT putting a course into an LMS.

eLearning is meeting the individual needs of every learner, just as we would in any other “classroom” in a publicly funded school.

Technology has come a very long way in the 20 years since eLearning began in Ontario. We can meet our students through the digital f2f on many different platforms.  We use many synchronous and asynchronous digital tools to collaborate and plan and provide feedback.

Continuing the myth that eLearning is only suited to some students is holding us back in providing all of our students with options that allow them to design their own personal pathways to success.

It is not about students being well-suited for eLearning.  In 2016, it is the eLearning that must be suited to the students – all students – and it is up to us as educators to ensure that it is.

Featured image shared by Alan Levine CC-BY-2.0

 

Resources:

Supporting creativity through eLearning (Kathy Pick)

Is eLearning for me?

 

Disrupting Content Delivery in Ontario

We have come a long way in Ontario from the idea that eLearning required a “learning management system” to deliver content, to the understanding that building relationships is at the centre of all learning (f2f or at a distance).

Slide shared by Dean Shareski http://www.slideshare.net/shareski
Slide shared by Dean Shareski http://www.slideshare.net/shareski

 

Slide shared by Dean Shareski http://www.slideshare.net/shareski
Slide shared by Dean Shareski http://www.slideshare.net/shareski

As we work with eLearning teachers through their collaborative inquiries into best practice, I often wonder about how best to “spread” some of the  great online pedagogy I see around the province.

Then yesterday, I saw this tweet:


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It’s a quick post, an idea that came out of some work with  #GEDSBLead, and a great catalyst for sharing, connecting and elevating online learning.

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Shared by George Couros here: http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/5093

 

So what if we change this a bit?  What if every eLearning teacher tweeted one thing they did each day in their online “classroom” to the hashtag #eLonted – and then took 5 minutes to read each others’ tweets?

We know that connecting online educators works.  We know that networking online educators is essential.  We know that eLearning teachers want to share their practice.

This could help us do all three.

Are you in?

 

Is Linear the Right Approach?

I posted this short piece on the collaborative #OSSEMOOC blog this morning. Throughout June, the OSAPAC team is encouraging educators to share their thinking by taking a screenshot of something that resonated with them, and sharing it with a few comments. It’s a great way to get started, especially if you are thinking about starting your own blog.

Of course I think a lot about online learning, particularly in Ontario. We have to get past the idea that eLearning is a solution to a problem (timetable issues, can’t get the right course, etc.). eLearning is always in a 1:1 environment, and it transcends the structural learning boundaries of place and time. Imagine the possibilities!