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Friday, June 07, 2013

How My Online Learning Changed My Teaching by Anthony S. Colucci

Anthony S. Colucci, a National Board-certified teacher writes about how his Online Learning has changed his teaching from the experience of being an online student. 

"I just completed a graduate degree with online coursework, which was a positive experience for me overall. But I do have a confession: Some of the most significant lessons I learned did not come from the course content—but from the experience of being an online student".

Camaraderie is Essential

During the first couple of courses in my online program, I felt very much alone as I struggled to complete challenging tasks. There was no unstructured interaction with the other students. No chatting with your peers while waiting for the professor to get started. No hanging out for a few minutes after class. Were my classmates experiencing the same difficulties that I was? 

Finally, I took the initiative, reaching out to classmates from all around the world, using email, Facebook, and Skype. I learned I was not alone. We shared our stories and hopes. We worked through complex assignments, providing support and encouragement for one another. Without a doubt, my work improved—and, as importantly, I could process the learning experience with others.

This experience reminded me that, as a teacher, it is vital for me to create a classroom climate that encourages this kind of camaraderie. I can’t expect students to jump into challenging activities if they feel alone.

About Anthony S. Colucc
He coordinates and teaches in the gifted-student program at three elementary schools in central Florida. He is the author of Copilots, Duties & Piña Coladas: How to Be a Great Teacher, as well as a host of articles for Education Week Teacher

A member of the CTQ Collaboratory, he has earned numerous awards for his innovative and creative lessons.

Source: Education Week