Monday, September 28, 2009

Acceptance of Distance Education

I agree with Mr. Siemens that distance education is becoming an acceptable way to earn a degree. Distance education has been around a long time, but gone are the days when we send for our class work and have to mail in our completed assignment. We still have people who believe that online courses are no match for the traditional class rooms; they believe that you do not have to do as much work to earn the degrees. I have to disagree its actually more work and more time consuming. The acceptance of distance education has come from the acceptance of the internet, social networks, and online instant messaging. We know longer just have friends that we met in school or at work, we have friends from all over the world, due to the emergence of the internet. These tools have made it much easier for us to communicate not only personally but in business as well.

In Betty’s Blog on teacher lingo, her blog, Getting ahead with online courses, (, she tells how online courses have made it easier for adults to go back to school to get a degree, while maintaining a job and a family. I totally agree that distance education has made it easier for us to go back to school and earn a degree while not totally interrupting our day to day lives.

In Mathcoach1’s blog, Secondary Education: OnLine Courses (, he talks about requiring high school students to take at least one on-line course before graduating, to give them the experience since so many students are now choosing online courses. I never really thought about this, but as educators we are supposed to prepare our students for the future. In this blog he said many students believe that online courses are easier than the traditional classroom setting. In some cases that may be true, but you have to be disciplined to take an online course because you are basically working independently. With online courses your do a whole more reading and research since you don’t have the instructor or classmates readily available to answer questions.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Next Generation of Distance Education

I agree that education has to evolve with times. In today's society almost everybody has access to a computer and internet. Gone are the days when distance education meant sending correspondence through the mail, and waiting weeks for a response. With the invention of the internet we expect information to be at our fingertips, why not education. There are a lot of misconceptions about distance learning. The main one that your not getting the same education that you would in a classroom. Your not, in the equivalency theory Dr. Simonson states "It's once we realize that students are learning in a variety of places, different spots, it's impossible for that to be identical" (Simonson, 2000). I have to admit that I was one who kind of doubted an online degree out of ignorance, but once I took an online course, I had to admit that I learned as much or more than when I actually went to a class.

There's also a need for distance education especially in the k-12 setting and is one of the fastest growing areas. With the number of students outgrowing the number of seats in classes, the shortage of highly qualified teachers distance education could is the answer according to Huett, Moller, Foshay, and Coleman. I agree that there are benefits to distance education in the k-12 setting. But, I believe that before students and parents jump into it that they have to understand what this fully means. To me it means that the parent is going to have to take a bigger role in their child's education, since the teacher is not physically there, the parent is going to have to make sure their child is actually online during instructional time, using all the resource provided, and play the role of a tutor or hire one.

Distance education for adults was one of the best things that ever came available. Adults now can get a quality education without leaving home, taking off from work or driving long distance from campus. For Universities this "could mean the difference between a budgetary surplus and a loss..." (Moller, Foshay, and Huett, 2008). Universities just like corporations are all about the bottom line, what is going to make them money. With the increase of non-traditional students trying to obtain degrees and certificates, they had to come up with another way to provide these services so that everybody would be able to obtain it.

In the past before this big explosion of distance learning, there were a lot of errors made on how to approach teaching to students, that you did not have to see face to face. Like with anything else time changes that, educators found out what worked and what did not work.


Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Coleman, C. (2008, September/October). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 3: K12). TechTrends, 52(5). 63-67. Retrieved September 15, 2009, from Academic Search premier database, and search using the article's Accession Number: 34729472.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, May/June). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 2: Higher education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66-70. Retrieved September 15, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database, and search using the article's Accession Number: 33991516.

Simonson, M. (2000, Winter2000). Making Decisions: The Use of Electronic Technology in Online Classrooms. New Directions for Teaching & Learning, Retrieved September 16, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.