Is teaching online a natural outgrowth of classroom teaching?
My initial response to this question was: although there are many similarities in the teaching methodologies used in both the traditional classroom and online teaching, I don’t believe an online venue to necessarily be a ‘natural” outgrowth of the classroom. And then I really thought about it…..And I might be an atypical example of a classroom teacher going online, so not the best representative. I’m a business and computer teacher. I have always had technology as an integral part of my classroom. That is not to say that my lessons, assignments, or even delivery of content has been solely computer based. It has not. But I have seen a natural progression in the use of technology, and a definite increase in the use of web resources over the last 5-10 years. I used to ‘force’ students to utilized non-web resources when doing research, basically just to ensure that they could , you know, open a book and utilize these other options. Now I have them using their smartphones to take a web generated quiz! Technology has become such an integral part of everyday life. I have simply stopped fighting the losing battle. So for me it has been a natural, progressive step in the evolution of teaching and learning. In “Can you see me now…”, the author, Ida Jones, indicates that advancements in technology have simply provided teachers with better instructional tools. “Educational technologies are best described as tools faculty use to communicate with each learner to disseminate knowledge and facilitate learning”. These tools were once chalk and chalkboard and are now blogs and blackboard.
I don’t believe online learning would be as popular or as successful without the advancements in technology to facilitate both the teaching and the learning. It has naturally progressed right alongside the technology. It would not even exist if there was not a need or a want for the ‘service’ provided. This is a customer base that is ready and willing to learn in their time, on their terms and on their dime. And let’s not forget…on their smartphone, tablet laptop, PC, surface, iPad, chrome book et. al.