Education has come a long way since the day of the one room school house and chalkboard. Granted there were many steps between chalkboard and virtual classroom, but none the less; evolution has occurred. As with any part of society inventions, advancements in technology and educational studies have helped to progress society. Education is no different. Just as mentioned in the article entitled, K–12 Distance Educators at Work: Who’s Teaching Online Across the United States. In the many websites and articles that we read in regards to online education one thing struck me; flexibility. Back in the days of the one room school house, students didn’t have options, they couldn’t express themselves and they certainly did not have a say in their learning styles. However, this is exactly what online learning allows; students can select a form of education that fits them and their learning styles best! This was best expressed in the online video for K12 learning where several teachers and were introduced and shared their experiences of using online learning.
Many people may look at online learning and think that because the student or teacher is not sitting inside the same building for instruction that there is a disconnect and that the learning taking place is less effective. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact the video by K12 showcased how interactive and effective online learning can be for students who participate in the virtual classroom. My personal experience in education has been both in a traditional classroom and out. I was home schooled for a large portion of my education based on my choice and learning style. When I was in the traditional classroom I was bored. I grew up in a home were learning, reading, math, science and history were all part of every day. My mom was and still is an elementary school teacher. My dad is a natural history buff and political science expert. When I walked into the classroom of my private school in kindergarten I was three grades ahead of my classmates. When they were learning how to write the letters of the alphabet, I was reading at a third grade level. This is where my boredom grew. At my own request I asked for my parents to home school me; at the time my mom had taken time off from teaching to raise me and my brother and sister. Later on in my education I chose to leave high school for the same reasons and participated in a correspondence school for the last year of high school. For me the choice was personal, I wanted to get the most out of my education and I felt that the traditional classroom with 25+ students was not for me. I didn’t want to waste my time waiting for someone else to get a concept I understood three days earlier.
In my mind this is another feature that was shown in the K12 video. Students are able to work at their own pace, which was the feature I enjoyed about my non-traditional education. Students who participate in online learning need to be self motivated, engaged and dedicated. These same skills go for teachers in the online learning world.
Personally, I know several teachers who currently work for one of the companies mentioned in the list of websites to view. For them they each enjoy teaching online for different reasons. For me, I would like to be an online teacher because I know how beneficial education, even when it is coming out of a computer and not inside a brick building with desks. I have experienced learning in a different setting and have been successful and I feel I would offer a perspective to teaching online that other educators may not have because they experience their education inside the traditional classroom setting in a school building. I also feel that my organization, focus and attention to detail would help me to make my online classroom effective.