When developing my philosophy for online learning I took into consideration that technology has and is enhancing student learning in both face-to-face and online teaching modes. I also based it upon the understanding that online learning today is just as collaborative and communicative as face-to-face learning when mediated by the right technological tools.
Nussbaum-Beach (2008) suggests that good teachers will only enhance and develop student centered learning through the use of technology and not be replaced by it. I thought deeply about this when developing my philosophy mind map and added pedagogical focus because the basis for good teaching is developing curriculum that meets the different needs of your diverse learners. This can be accomplished through such pedagogical approaches as constructivism and connectivism while still following best teaching practices and with the addition of the right technological tools great online teaching can be achieved.
Stacey & Wiesenberg (2007) talk about the globalization of learning through the use of internet resources, this resonates with me because even in my face-to-face teaching mode I have Sykped with experts on various subjects in my classroom. The study also suggested that online teachers must plan ahead, be highly organized, communicate with learners in new ways as well as be accessible to their students, and play the role of facilitator or mentor in their interactions with learners. After reading through these teaching practices I realized that with the aid of many technological tools these practices could be more easily met through online teaching compared to the face-to-face mode so I included them in my philosophy.
Finally I wanted my philosophy mind map to portray the fact that as the times are changing teachers need to adapt to new technologies in order to better their students learning experiences. However, making sure that the learner and their best interest is still at the forefront of online teaching.
Nussbaum-Beach, S. (2008, June 2). Letter to my colleagues. Message posted to http://www.21stcenturycollaborative.com/2008/06/letter-to-my-colleagues/
Stacey, E., & Wiesenberg, F. (2007). A study of face-to-face and online teaching philosophies in Canada and Australia. Journal of Distance Education, 22 (1), 19-40. http://www.jofde.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/7/465
A great overview of your philosophy. Your last statement “making sure that the learner and their best interest is still at the forefront” is such an important consideration. Thinking about how the technology meets the needs of the learning situation can open up new opportunities – by as you say allowing for collaborative or communicative types of activities, like bringing guest experts into your classroom or connecting to other classrooms across the globe.
In your map you highlight that you see the teachers as mentor, mediator and interpreter – with an expectation that the learners are taking more control of ownership of their own learning. Do you see ways of doing this in your current teaching context? Do you see this having to change for online or technology supported learning environments?
Hi Michelle, I really liked the point you made about how technology will only enhance and not replace a teacher (Nussbaum-Beach 2008). I also believe this to be true. However, I’m still trying to understand how we can maintain that personal touch while doing it. I think taking these courses about online learning and teaching is giving me a broader understanding of just how much technology there is and how many different ways we can incorporate it into our curriculums and personal teaching goals. One thing I saw last year, a teacher who had to be absent for a conference made a video for me to play instructing her students. It was great and fun. The kids loved it and, after a while, behaved as if she were in the class. Awesome TOC!
Last year we added more assistive learning technologies into my classroom, and I felt that these tools did allow my students to take more ownership and control over their learning. With these technologies they were given more opportunity to set learning goals and choose a medium in which to complete assignments and tasks to meet their goals. As for online learning environments I think that with more access to unique technological tools students will have more opportunity to make choices that meet each of their diverse learning needs.