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MN, United States
Tutor, Business Owner, Technology innovator

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Learning Modules, learning communities, learning _____________

Wow, one can definitely get overloaded with the stuff that's out there.  If you are a beginner blogger, for example, I would follow Will Richardson's blog on how to read and write blogs.  If you are big into education and want to keep on top some of what other's in tech ed are doing, check blogs out like Sue Waters (and now Ronnie Burt) Edublogger.  If you want free stuff to use in the classroom (or for students in general), goto Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers.

Now like Richard comes clean with disclaimers, as should I.  Lately I've been working with a group called SOCRATES (South Central Regional Area Telecommunications System, whew!), providing educational consulting in Mathematics.  Also lately, I'm doing some work with Sophia.org as a Math Reviewer.  I'm not being paid to write the following.  So with that said, I have some stuff to "say about that."

This blog is about communicating math, right?  So equally important is communicating the concept of commitment?  What? If you are a student at a regular school, in dare I say, a regular district, then you have signals that tell you what to do, indirectly.  That school bell conditioned you when to go to different classes, walk the halls, get your books, goto  lunch, etc.  When you go to school online, such as through SOCRATES online, you have to discipline yourself.  You don't have bells, teachers yelling down the hall, a physical student desk (unless you really want to simulate the experience), or passes to get water or bathroom breaks.  Unless you're taking an online class in a learning center within the school, you are on your own, but not ALONE.

Your teacher (a.k.a. "educational consultant") is there to answer your questions, grade your assignments, provide tutoring, or facilitate "live" sessions.  He or she cares about your learning, else why would they teach online?  It is different, or is it?  I've run across that debate many times.  While online and face to face seem different, you have to exercise the same discipline (even more so) to succeed in online.  The curriculum, teacher, and/or atmosphere can make or break the class in either environment.  YOU have to make it work, and many do.

Now that I've got to know the people at Sophia.org more, I'm excited to see what will roll out when they release their newest stuff.  Their philosophy is matching the current trend; that means that you can find a style you may like to learn from.  You'll see that they are tied to a corporate affiliate, but I think the idea of providing learning in different ways is what mathtv.com has been doing for a while.  This is part of a growing trend of people developing their own subject material to make available for students (except Mr. McKeague would like you to pay for his books/subscriptions).  Another awesome example of this is happening in Bryon, MN  right now.  Intel awarded 18 schools for innovation in technology and Byron was one of them (for math):  See the article then click on the link under it for the success story.

Oh I better watch my clock, I have to get back to my multiple project life, which I'm getting used to rather quickly (from home).

Til I chalk again,

Mr. Shel

from Microsoft Clipart Gallery.

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