I clearly remember the day, it was 1995 and the UMASS OIT department handed me a disc which had kind of a beta version of Netscape. Before that time, text-only web was dominated by IRC chats and bulletin boards. My vision of the future seemed to have exploded. We are in the age of Star Trek and The Jetsons.
Here we are 20 years later and we are talking about how The Blackboard Collaborative, VHS, is becoming more mainstream. In the OTM training through The VHS, many of us shared our excitement about teaching online. We all have taken courses online and now prepare for our next step of the journey.
It seems foolish to not explore this avenue for teaching. Not only does online teaching expand opportunities for students, it enhances our own f2f teaching practices. Educating students today is more than the f2f we grew up with. It incorporates more asynchronous tools and strategies to meet the learning demands of our kids who are constantly adapting to new technologies every day.
Why do I seek online teaching to be added to my repertoire? It’s for the obvious fact that the writing on the wall is clear. Like colleges that have previously embraced learning online, it is growing more and more in the public school system across the globe. Why else? To stay competitive as an educator when districts are asking teachers to teach in multiple areas or when school districts try to stay competitive by offering a variety of courses by utilizing online course collaboratives.
The writing on the virtual wall is clear, and I am on board. The online teaching community is filled with energetic explorers. These early adopters are leading the way into the uncertain future. I am excited to be a part of such a wonderful community.