Distance Learning Training and Resources for Educators

DL Forum April 22


Carteret Community College had its first Distance Learning forum moderated by Dr. Abbie Brown and Dr. Bill Sugar both Professors in the Instructional Technology Graduate Program at East Carolina University. It was an extremely productive event, and I believe will be a catalyst for some of the initiatives we implement in the coming year. One thing continues to be very evident and was brought out by many participants in the forum. Education is evolving and changing rapidly. The tools, techniques, methods and environments are changing. However, good teaching is still good teaching, whether it’s done in the online environment or the traditional classroom environment. It goes back to the “Human Element”. The personal touch – the connection between the teacher and student. If that connection isn’t made (and nurtured) the teaching / learning, journey will be an uphill climb. Due to the rapid advances in technology and the shift to a global economy we as educators don’t truly know for sure what skills our students are going to need in 5, 10, or 15 years. That’s the scary part.


Technology is changing so fast. It’s incredibly difficult to keep abreast of it. However, if we as educators are going to remain viable, effective and competitive we MUST do everything we can to continually upgrade our skill sets, especially when it comes to technology. Our students are changing. Their backgrounds and instructional needs are very different, yet the one CONSTANT we still have in education is that we all crave connectivity and are social creatures. Whether we as educators teach in the classroom or online, teachers must make the effort to harness the new sophisticated communication tools and use them to make those connections. I don’t care what environment you teach in, if you can’t connect with your students, communicate effectively with them, empathize , relate or motivate them, you can’t get them to join you on the learning journey.
The issues (see below) brought out and identified at this forum using the SWOT approach (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) will continue to be addressed and talked about here at CCC and in High Schools and Colleges across the country. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we are all in this together, and we must not forget that good teaching is still plain old good teaching, whether we are in the classroom or online. The traits and skills that make good students and teachers for the most part are the same as well, even though the environments may have changed, and Blackboard may have replaced the overhead projector. Change is a reality for all of us and we must all be willing to embrace it and not be intimidated by it.

STRENGTHS

Convenience
Gas Prices
Funding
Participation & Accountability
Flexibility both student & faculty
Peer Review Opportunity
Increase reading & writing skills
Instructional Tech Support
Increase administrative support for student
Richer multi-media
Access to external resources
Improved technology
WEAKNESSES

Online instruction does not meet the needs for students and faculty
Lack of student and faculty computer skills
Feelings of isolation
Danger of miscommunication
Lack of tech support (inadequate)
Extreme approaches to technology
From the student perspective, online instruction requires self-discipline & time management
Time constraints for faculty
Security & Ethical behavior
State Orientation is problematic
Human element is difficult to include

OPPORTUNITIES
Complete degree on-line
Partnership with high schools
Learn & Earn (Free)
Business & Government
Quality of life for Seniors
Increase multi-media
International (Student & Faculty)
New faculty (new skills)
Raise student skills (orientation)
Increase/Diversify social interaction
Raise & Diversify faculty skills
Marketing (expand beyond local area)
Save money on books (e-books)
Make best use of all resources

THREATS
Power failure
Rapid pace of technology change
Competition from other state institutions
Afraid of change
Computing resources for students
Student wants choices between hybrid and online course offerings

Please feel free to comment to this post. Address any issues you see that CCC must tackle in the coming months or elaborate on any of the issues raised at our DL Forum.

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Comments on: "DL Forum April 22" (3)

  1. dishaddicklag said:

    I’m the only one in this world. Can please someone join me in this life? Or maybe death…

  2. New Here – Wanted to Introduce Myself
    Thanks,
    Chris Wodja
    Christopher Wodja

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    The link is here.. silver heart bracelet

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