Tag Archives: Online Learning

Should Elementary School Students Be Learning Online?

Elementary Student on Computer
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is a long standing debate about the benefits of a private versus a public versus a home schooled education. There are advocates that will argue for any of those options and pros and cons to each. With the advance of technology you can begin throwing online education into the mix. Most people understand the benefit of being able to attend college online, and it is not difficult to look at online classes as a good option for students who live in rural areas or do not have access to some of the higher-level classes they are interested in. But do the benefits of online education stop when you look at it for elementary school students?

Moving at Your Own Pace

One advantage of many online programs is that they allow students to move at their own pace. This benefits all the students because they can truly master a subject before moving onto the next concept. Most of the online programs allow you to move at your own pace, which is great because your child can make real progress. However, if the program is like a college course with a set number of lectures and assignments each week, then this benefit will not be part of the program.


Many online programs offer more flexibility than a traditional school. This is a good option if your child is ill, and may not be well enough to go to school or needs to complete her classes around naps or doctor visits. It is also flexible in that it allows you to travel without worrying about missing school Your child can complete the classes as you travel the country or on an extended stay with family. This allows you to live life the way you want to as long as you have an Internet connection handy so you can complete assignments.

Long Term Effects of Computers on Developing Brains

There have been concerns about the long-term effects of children spending too much time on the computer or other electronic devices. In an article at BBC News Professor Greenfield from the Royal Institute points out the correlation between the rise in computer use and the rise in prescriptions for ADD. There have not been enough long-term studies to determine if an online education at such a young age will have a negative affect on your child and the way that he processes information as an adult. Brain development may be affected especially if the majority of his learning is done online in early elementary school. However, if you use the online program to supplement activities that you are already doing with your child the effects may not be as bad. Other studies such as The Effective Use of Computers with Young Children by Douglas Clements point out that the quality of the computer program may affect the brain’s development more than just the quantity of time spent online. You should be aware of what your child is doing and make sure that the online time is quality learning time.

Will It Be a Good Fit?

Ultimately you need to decide if sitting down at a computer to complete the majority of the classwork will be a good fit for your child. An active energetic boy might do better with a program that allowed more kinetic learning with movement activities. A spatial learner may also do better with the use of manipulatives in math classes. You may need to adjust the program and supplement the same way you would if your child was attending a public school outside of the home. Many schools are beginning to use educational software for review and to help students catch up on topics they fall behind on. As the education system changes, so do the assessment and teaching tools. Technology will be active part of your children’s lives as they grow older and completing an online learning program may help them become more comfortable with technology.

Dana Vicktor is the senior researcher and writer for duedatecalculator.org.  Her most recent accomplishments include graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in communications and sociology.  Her current focus for the site involves pregnancy tests and fetal development at 15 weeks pregnant.

Online lessons changing the face of learning

Teaching Fun and Frugal
“That’s it, class – you’ll find the notes and the PowerPoint on the S-Drive and a version on Moodle, there is also some relevant info on my edublog.”
It was a Social Studies 10 class and the topic was “Exploring Twentieth Century Canada.” The teacher’s personal “edublog” included additional references, access to YouTube videos and archived material on lessons for that class to date.
It was at that point that I realized how much the delivery of learning has changed, and how fast. Student access to a teacher-guided world of information has revolutionized how, when and where kids are learning now.
Not in the future – now.
Full Text: Online lessons changing the face of learning.

Alzheimer's Association launches online education programs

Ray Leubner, is the primary caregiver for his mother-in-law, Hilda Bailey, who is 100-years-old. and for his wife, Hildegarde, who has Alzheimer's Disease. They are shown in Hilda's home in Syracuse.
Ray Leubner, is the primary caregiver for his mother-in-law, Hilda Bailey, who is 100-years-old. and for his wife, Hildegarde, who has Alzheimer's Disease. They are shown in Hilda's home in Syracuse.

Online learning can be the answer for those who find it difficult to leave work or to get out of the house to physically attend classes.
Recognizing the special needs of those seeking to learn more about Alzheimer’s and dementia, The Central New Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, has launched The Manning Center at alz.org/cny, which serves as a starting point in their search. The Manning Center, which provides facts about the disease and its treatment as well as information about local services and online support groups, will also host live web-based education programs compatible with Macintosh and Windows-based PCs.
Two programs — “Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters,” and “The Basics of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia” will be available on a recurring monthly basis. A full list of webinar dates and times can be found at the Chapter’s website: alz.org/cny.
Full Text: Alzheimer’s Association launches online education programs | syracuse.com.

Assessing Online Learning

Documenting Learning ePortfolios
CC-BY-NC-SA by Giulia Forsythe

At a recent meeting of our distance learning committee the question was raised whether our online courses should be delivered 100% asynchronously  – that is, without any face-to-face or synchronous requirements. The flexibility and convenience that attracts students to the online course is somewhat diminished when there are synchronous requirements, the most common example being the proctored exam.
One of the concerns and rationales for maintaining the proctored exam in an online course is the perception that we can prevent cheating, and that cheating is more prevalent (or at least easier) in the online environment. Therefore we need to bring the students to campus (or the learning center) for their exams. Although I’m not aware of any evidence that shows cheating is more prevalent online than for testing in the classroom, there are various methods employed to prevent cheating, including making the tests more challenging by using larger question banks, randomization, shortening the time frame… even using special browsers or webcams to ensure the individual taking the test is actually the student enrolled in the class.
Full Text: Assessing Online Learning | Lakeland Learning Technologies.

Instructor Presence in the Online Class – Key to Learner Success

Instructor presence in the online environment can be elusive as a shadow – it’s one dimensional, monochromatic and takes on various forms depending upon the point of view. Yet, instructor presence in online learning communities is vital to ‘complete learning’ (by complete I mean student engages with content, applies higher order thinking skills, and produces tangible evidence that learning objectives are met). In the virtual environment the instructor needs to be ‘real’, 3 dimensional, have a personality, be the subject matter expert and as if this isn’t enough, help the student achieve the learning goals in this virtual space. A tall order. In this post I’ll share why and how instructor [virtual] presence is critical, essential instructional design components to facilitate presence, and strategies used by instructors that demonstrate presence.
Full Text: Instructor Presence in the Online Class – Key to Learner Success | online learning insights.

8 Vital Tips for Using Webinars

Webinar Screen

There are many articles on webconferencing and a lot of schools & institutions of Higher Ed have already jumped in and started using webinars to provide training to faculty. If you haven’t yet made the jump here are a few considerations that may encourage you.
Full Text: 8 Vital Tips for Teaching Faculty Using Webinars! – Tips 4 Blended Learning: Tools, Resources, and Apps.


7 Things You Should Know About Navigating the New Learning Ecosystem

The LMS was once the undisputed center of the digital learning ecosystem. But on many campuses, the situation has changed such that the campus online learning environment might be better viewed as a continuum, with the LMS at one end and a student’s own collection of applications, tools, and websites at the other. This proliferation of tools has created a more robust and varied teaching and learning environment, one that is frequently managed actively by students or by faculty who are seeking alternatives not offered by local IT. The value may extend beyond students’ relationship with technology, helping them become better organizers and more savvy consumers as they assume more responsibility for their own learning.
The “7 Things You Should Know About…” series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
Full Text: 7 Things You Should Know About Navigating the New Learning Ecosystem | EDUCAUSE.


NU students took 10 percent more online classes

NU students took 10 percent more online classes

University of Nebraska students took 10 percent more online credit hours last academic year, university leaders learned Friday.
About 17,800 students took nearly 109,000 online credit hours in 2010-11, said Mary Niemiec, associate vice president for distance education and director of Online Worldwide at NU. She told the Nebraska Board of Regents Friday the number of resident students who took online classes last year increased by 5.2 percent.
The university’s four main campuses offer 101 distance education programs, which include undergraduate, graduate, and professional certificate and endorsement programs. Fifty-four of those programs are in education and human sciences.
Full article NU students took 10 percent more online classes.

Free Online Learning at GCFLearnFree.org

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View one tutorial. Complete a whole class. We believe there’s freedom in the ability to learn what you want, when you want, regardless of income or circumstances.
GCFLearnFree.org is a program of Goodwill Industries of Eastern NC, Inc. All GCFLearnFree.org educational content is designed and produced in the GCF Global Learning® building in Downtown Raleigh, NC.

Full article Free Online Learning at GCFLearnFree.org.

Two, new charters in Newark to offer online and classroom learning environments – Newark Technology in Education | Examiner.com

Charter Schools

Two, new public charter high schools in Newark, New Jersey, will combine adaptive online learning and face-to-face instruction in the 2012-2013 school year.  Both Newark Prep and Spirit Prep, public charter schools approved by the New Jersey Department of Education, will offer ninth grade in their first year. Both schools will add the remaining, high school grades in subsequent years.  The schools, each governed by an independent, nonprofit school board led by local educators and community leaders, will share a facility located in Newark at 570 Broad Street.
Full article: Two, new charters in Newark to offer online and classroom learning environments – Newark Technology in Education | Examiner.com.