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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Why Teach Online?

Continuing the trend of something different, two month ago now (13 April to be exact - wow, time does fly), an article came through my inbox as part of the eCollege eNewsletter. In this article, "Why Should We Teach Online?" (see http://www.ecollege.com/news/EdVoice_arch_4_13_05.learn), the author describes how he posed the question to a room of 200 online educators and the room fell silent.

He goes on to describe that:

"We can teach online because good teaching is still good teaching, despite the medium. We can teach online because we can give authentic assessment to our students, we can create authentic tasks, we can effectively interact, facilitate, and communicate theories and ideas. We can teach online because technology allows us and our own creativity (teaching skills) drives us. We can teach online because we've moved past the notion that online learning has "no significant difference" to actually understanding that it is better in certain instances than face-to-face instruction."
In responding to his own question, he throws out possible responses such as because of a shifting paradigm, we're meeting our students in a time and place that is convenient to them, or the benefits to the online teacher, but in the end, he settles on this response:

"I contend that we should because we have to be a voice in this sea of information overload. We should because we have to show our students how to dig through information responsibly, wisely and effectively. We should teach online because education has always led the way in terms of quality research, effective communication and critical thinking. We should teach online because the world needs us to."
Is this why you teach online? It is a good question... For our online teachers out there, why do you teach online?

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Blogger Nathan Lowell said...

We should teach online because it is the best way we have to educate the poor, the disaffected, and the isolated.

I spent a large portion of my life living where education was required but not available. I work now to make education available to anybody who wants it.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Nathan Lowell said...


"its the best way we have to make education available to the poor, the disaffected, and the isolated."

I'm not advocating that we should FORCE them to be "educated" -- only that how much money you have or where you live shouldn't control whether or not you can get an education.

Looks really corny on the page like that.

5:49 PM  
Blogger MKB said...

Well Nate, I have to agree with the "and the isolated" portion. That is why I became interested n virtual high schools (as I'm sure everyone knows by now), to provide equitable educational opportunities to rural school students.


11:12 PM  

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