This course provides teachers with the foundation for understanding the movement towards virtual instruction. It introduces fundamental knowledge needed by teachers to succeed in a technology-dependent, instructional environment. You will explore the history of online learning and understand how a variety of delivery models are evolving in the K-12 environment, ranging from completely online to hybrid or blended classrooms. We will discuss how the programs work and who they serve, addressing some basics about equity issues, access and school funding, as well as ethical and legal issues that support and challenge the models. Upon completion of the course, you will understand what it takes to transition from teaching in the classroom to providing virtual instruction.
Upon completing this course, you will be able to:
1. Describe the history of online learning models
2. Identify current virtual instruction models and who offers them
3. Explain how virtual instruction models have evolved and why
4. Describe common features of synchronous and asynchronous technologies
5. Discuss basic ethical and legal issues faced by schools
Week 1: History of Virtual Education
-Welcome to the course! Begin by reading the Course Overview and familiarizing yourself with our course. This week we will explore the history of virtual education, as well as the different models of virtual education. Our guest speaker, Dr. O'Neal, will discuss the "Flipped Classroom" and how this pedagogy can enhance teaching and learning.
Week 2: Synchronous and Asynchronous Technologies
-In week two, we will examine the features of synchronous and asynchronous technologies. Our guest speaker, Melissa Loble, will share how to select and leverage technology. She will also discuss how to best utilize social media to meet the needs of different learners.
Week 3: Transitioning from the Classroom to the Virtual Environment
-This week we will examine the similarities and differences between teaching in the classroom and teaching online. Our guest speaker, Racquel Nedden, will discuss the benefits of online education for accommodating and meeting the needs of at-risk and special needs students. You will also have the opportunity to submit your assignment and evaluate three of your classmates' work.
Week 4: Equity and Access, Funding, and the Law
-In week four, we will discuss virtual school funding options, the responsibility of online programs to consider equity and access, and the legal issues that virtual schools face. Our guest speaker, Chris Long, will explain the concept of QFT (Question, Formulation Technique) and explain why teaching students to formulate their own questions can increase students engagement and empower students to be life long learners.
Week 5: The Future of Virtual Education
-In this last week of the course we'll consider the future of online education and how new technologies are changing the landscape of K-12 education.