Distance Education from an Undergraduate Perspective

A recent NCES  analysis uncovered that 20% of all undergraduates had taken at least one distance education class during the 2007-2008 academic year. These findings surpassed those observed in both 1999 to 2000 which was at 8%, as well as in 2003 and 2004, which was observed at 16%. The study takes into consideration distance education as defined as a course taken for credits that didn’t utilize in-person correspondence, rather was primarily delivered by way of interactive audio, videoconferencing, pre-recorded instructional videos, webcasts, CD-ROM or DVD, or a computer-based systems via the Internet.

This statistics report investigates undergraduates’ enrollment in distance education courses and degree programs by studentcharacteristics and changes in studies over this eight-year timeframe to determine the following:

  • What percentage of 2007–08 undergraduates reported enrollment in a stance education course and a distance education degree program and have these percentages changed over time?
  • Did 2007–08 under-graduates’ reported participation in a distance education course or degree program vary by field of study, degree sought, or type of institution?
  • Did 2007–08 under-graduates’ reported participation in a distance education course or degree program differ by age, dependents, marital status, work responsibilities, or student disability status?

What were some of the key findings?

  • Participation in distance education courses was commonly found among undergraduates who were enrolled in a public 2-year college. Participation in a distance education degree program was most common among undergraduates attending for-profit institutions.
  • Students studying computer science and those in business courses were at higher rates in both distance education classes (27 % and 24%, respectively, vs. 20%) and distance education degree programs (8 % and 6%, respectively, vs. 4%).

To uncover more information and the entirety of key findings visit, http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2012154 to view the full report.

Source: Learning at a Distance: Undergraduate Enrollment in Distance Education Courses and Degree Programs by National Center for Education Statistics: Institute for Education Sciences. October 5, 2011.

10 Real Ways to Model Technology

Teaching veteran Heather Wolper-Gawron touches upon the latest news in education, curriculum design, educational policy and moreon her blog TweenTeacher. More recently, she wrote about “modeling” technology within the classroom versus “using” technology in the classroom.

Classroom teaching with an interactive whiteboard

ClassLink thought this model of how to teach technology to students for interactive academic development was useful and worthy of sharing, but first, what’s the difference? How is to model technology to students different than to use technology with students? Some feel that if students aren’t seated in front of computers then technology isn’t being applied – and this isn’t true. Here’s a list of ideas that educators can model in front of their students and in their classrooms – some of which were inspired by Ms. Wolper-Gawron, others by our ClassLink team.

  1. Posts rules in the classroom for online/offline behavior and reference it often.
  2. Keep lessons interactive by using an interactive whiteboard (or something similar).
  3. Teach your students technology processes by walking them through the steps; keep them involved.
  4. Utilize a teacher’s computer to reference websites or to look up a word when speaking with students
  5. Consider a document camera or online platform for picture sharing or sharing students’ work.
  6. Setup a Skype session with another teacher in front of your classroom in order to model video conferencing, topic discussions, and strategies for public speaking.
  7. Express to student’s ways personal ways you use technology – maybe show them an image of something applicable to a lesson that you captured on your PDA or cell phone.
  8. Instruct students how to do safe online searches by carefully selecting search terms for a Yahoo search, or even a Google Advanced search.
  9. Get interactive! Prior to a lesson do a YouTube or video search for something applicable to model to students, then show them how you found it and which terms you used for the search.
  10. Make it a priority to allow students to view your computer desktop, the arrangement of files there, and how to name files for easy finding, and allow them to experience the know-how of file organization – this is something that will come in handy for them throughout their education career.

 If you’re looking for practical ways to model technology to your students refer to this list, or add to it!

Have you implemented any of the above ten tactics in your classroom? Will you try any of these out with your students? Visit us on Facebook and let us know!

Looking for more suggestions? Read the full article we referenced here, http://tweenteacher.com/2011/09/20/edutopia-post-20-ways-to-model-technology/

 

Source: Twenty Everyday Ways to Model Technology Use for Students by Heather Wolpert-Gawron. Tweenteacher.com, blog. September 20, 2011.

 

Is Technology a friend or a foe?

ClassLink was intrigued by this article, ‘Is Your Technology Making You an “Emerging Human?”.  According to Sherry Turkle, and many others, technology may be changing us as we change technology. This article investigates some thought-provoking points centered on how technology may be making us better people.

According to Phillip D. Long of University of Queensland, technology and social media may be making humans…better.  He points to Doug Engelbart’s proposed theories made back in 1962 which suggested that as technologies emerge they will further align the fundamentals of human engaging characteristics – whether it’s our sociality or our ability to maintain relationships.

People used to fear technology would isolate people but the data is showing otherwise – that people can more powerfully connect core human characteristics way of it.

When we read this, ClassLink felt it reiterated the two of the four C’s developed by Partnership for 21st Century Skills, specifically communication and collaboration. This breakdown provides knowledge of “21st century student outcomes” representing the skills, knowledge and expertise that students should master to achieve success in work and life. The two C’s of communication and collaboration emphasize the importance of communicating clearly and collaborating with others, as seen here: http://www.p21.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=261&Itemid=120

ClassLink wants to know what you think! Visit us on Facebook and join the discussion! What’s your stance on the growth and emergence of technology? Do you believe social avenues have given us greater capacities?

To read more on ‘Is Your Technology Making You an “Emerging Human?” visit this link: http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2011/08/10/Is-Your-Technology-Making-You-an-Emerging-Human.aspx?Page=3

Source: Campus Technology, online. August 10, 2011.

Recognition for K-12 Technology Career Studies

At ClassLink, we love to see the evidence of change! Of steps being taken towards tangible action, especially where it concerns education and learning for students all around the country. A solid example of this is a recent article that crossed our desks…

This week Arkansas officials declared a new agenda they will be enacting which will directly target students who’re studying in high-tech fields. To introduce them to a concrete and broader curriculum in these studies, officials there took steps at allotting $2.68 million to this new campaign known as STEM Works program. This program will be used to overhaul the current science, technology, math and engineering curriculums currently in place at selected high schools. Also important to note, this program will work towards recruiting more college graduates to oversee and teach these tech-driven subjects.

State officials, including Governor Mike Beebe, said this new initiative will aid in meeting the demand for future employees in high-tech workforce fields by focusing on these areas earlier on in students’ educational studies. “We’ve got to get more folks interested in STEM education in high school so that when they go to college, they’re not afraid of engineering, they’re not afraid of mathematics, they’re not afraid of science,” commented Gov. Beebe at a recent news conference.

Initially, an overhaul of the curriculum will be done at specific state high school, to more directly focus and prepare graduates to pursue high-tech fields by creating these New Tech High Schools, which will have specific classes teaching practical applications. The program’s goal is to have 10 of these high schools signed up by January 2012, and for implementation to kick off during the 2012/2013 school year.

To learn more about what Arkansas state’s tech-driven initiative click here: http://www.districtadministration.com/newssummary.aspx?news_date=2011-08-18&news_id=57861#top

Would you consider a similar initiative at your high school? Visit our Facebook page and join the discussion!  

 

Source: Ark. starts technology education initiative by Andrew DeMillo. District Administration, online. August 16, 2011.

Alternative Teaching Methods

Conveying important learning concepts to students can be challenging. In recent years, a number of teachers have gone above and beyond creatively taking what would be considered boring learning methods and turning them into fun, creative concepts for their students. One such example, Mr. Duey, a middle school math teacher who’s academic rap song has gone viral. He takes the subject of fractions and breaks it down to a simpler “tune” for students.  

 This well-intentioned rap video teaches students to resolve improper fractions and percentages. Entertaining – yes! Purposeful – definitely.

Check out the below youtube video by clicking link and then go to the Classlink Facebook page to join in on the discussion. 

 Mr. Duey’s Official Fractions video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V96_PjlrVQc