It is unavoidable: "eLearning" is becoming a household term. Each year the number of students who take online courses increases dramatically. The statistics over the last ten years have been remarkable. So, what does that mean for teachers? Will we all become veritable dinosaurs and lose our jobs because computers have taken over? We think not!
One profession that has withstood the test of time is education. As Darwin's "survival of the fittest" theory suggests, evolution and adaptation are key to thriving in the long-term. Education has done just that by embracing many new mediums along the way from ancient cave drawings to Aristotle's lectures, to paper and pencil.
As we adjust to a new age for education with the new medium of technology, we must rapidly embrace it to position the next generation for success. Our students spend their lives on their technology, but what are we doing to help them learn how to use it?
The possibilities to transform education are endless! As you enjoy the sunny days and cool summer nights over the next few weeks, you can begin to contemplate opportunities for your classroom next year. Below is a preliminary list of ideas to get you started:
1) Teach students about credible sources. Choose a topic and have students research it online. Then have them discuss the credibility of their individual sources in a class discussion forum.
2) Create an online quiz. Many quiz-making tools can embed into learning management systems, and that way grades are automatically inputted into your grade book upon completion.
3) Accept digital submissions for assignments. For each one, have students submit in a different format to learn about their capabilities (e.g. PDF, Word, PowerPoint).
4) Use investigation and discovery-based techniques for learning, such as watching videos, completing a WebQuest, or working through virtual simulation.
5) Visit www.njctl.org for more great ideas on how you can transform your classroom next year!