Online Learning

Providing teachers with the ability to offer a learning management system to their students can extend the classroom community beyond school walls. K-12 teachers can utilize an online learning environment to extend traditional face-to-face classroom instruction.

Online programs such as Carnegie Learning, allows students to see excellent growth in their ability to precisely explain how they arrived at an answer and to justify their method. The depth of understanding that a student can gain is far greater when compared to previous years.

Online learning also allows teachers the flexibility to offer assignments, handouts and pre-tests to students, whether they are at home or school. This helps to lessen the amount of photocopies needed to pass out assignments and handouts to students. Video feeds and distance learning presentations from universities could also be added to supplement students with a wealth of knowledge. Online learning environments have the ability to equip teachers with the platform to transform teaching into the 21st century.

Online learning environments are a blessing for teachers because only minimal computer skills are needed to navigate through the learning management system. Knowing little more than how to navigate a browser or use a mouse are the basic components you need to navigate through an online learning environment. There are no complicated manuals for learning how to navigate and add content to your online modules.

Learning to use an online learning environment is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Log on to the site with your log-in name and password

2. Search for the appropriate directory for the class you would like to add content or assignments to.

3. Add the assignments or handouts necessary to facilitate online learning for your students.

Utilizing an online learning environment will give you the ability to organize folders with handouts, PowerPoint presentations and lecture notes from your class discussions. This will allow students to have access to critical work assignments and class notes in the event they misplace their class materials. In addition, this will enable students who miss school (i.e., sickness or a death in the family) to catch up on their homework and assignments they missed. Students absent from school will be given access to a wealth of knowledge to facilitate learning, even though they are not physically present in the classroom. When assignments, due dates and grades are posted online, parents have an immense knowledge base at their fingertips to stay involved in their child’s education. Offering distance learning initiatives will help school districts achieve the highest standards possible for their students.

Teachers could also utilize an online discussion board to foster interactive learning by allowing students to post quotes from novels the class is reading.

Quote posted in an online learning environment:

  • Plagiarism was defined in the novel as the “act of passing off as one’s own the ideas or writings of another.” Is this quote an adequate definition of plagiarism?

Response of another classmate:

  • Yes, I believe the definition adequately explains the definition of plagiarism, but it could be simplified. This is a simplified version: “If you use the ideas of someone else, you should cite the source.”

This interactive learning strategy would allow students to initiate discussion of quotes they felt were important to the theme of the novel. A follow-up assignment could involve students responding and giving input for each quote posted from the novel. As each thread is posted, students will be able to respond and give input regarding the threads of other classmate’s. Teachers could also use an online learning environment to further enhance the curriculum of the school district. This would help to encourage creative thinking and serve as a platform to express differing opinions on a given subject.

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