Web-based platforms have allowed us to remotely replace or facilitate many interactive processes in a day to day activities. Getting an education online was the next frontier for web-based convenience, and there are many reasons why I felt this is a practical and attractive platform. ECI833 is my 4th online course with Alec, and before then, I had no practical experience of an online course or any technological tools used for online learning. The only reason I used the internet was to google things and of course to use social media sites. I began my first course with Alec with a moderate understanding of online classes and limited knowledge of online learning tools. I was very excited to learn alongside my classmates and blogging; tweeting aided me a lot in the process. Blogging in WordPress was a great opportunity for me in expanding my Personal Learning Network, while Twitter supported me to make connections. Google plus community helped me when I was struggling with questions and thanks to such an interactive and effective online course; I was introduced to so many online learning tools which were engaging and beneficial.
In the journey so far, I have witnessed many tools which are very useful for online and blended learning, I have enjoyed documenting my learning through WordPress, and I find it an exciting and interactive way in the learning process. Blogging allowed me to
showcase my knowledge and artistically share my thoughts, getting responses by my classmates further motivated me to perform better, and blogging has undoubtedly played a vital role in online learning. Google+ is another such tool which has always fascinated me, especially when it comes to education and online learning. This collaborative tool has many advantages and can be effectively utilized professionally, personally, and in school. Google+ is an excellent tool for collaboration and sharing information; it is ideal for students to be connected and share thoughts and address concerns. Google+ is a tool which I would use if I have teach an online course. As a mathematics educator, I think that it would be an ideal collaborative tool for me and my students to resolve issues, answer to questions, and share content. Staying always connected with students would definitely decrease the fear of math and promote a fun and interactive way to play and learn with numbers.
Another familiar and useful tool which I found most beneficial is Zoom. I have been using Zoom for more than a year now, and I find it very benefiting, as it allows students and instructor to connect visually and learn together. This exciting tool not only facilitate instructor to deliver the course but it will enable students to share their thoughts, concerns just like a face to face classroom setup. I believe that the tool facilitates a sense of social learning when used to learn among a small or large group of students and the chat feature helps those students who do not wish to speak up during the class.
With everything that been said, I would feel both excited and benefitting to teaching with these tools in an online or distance education class. I think it would definitely work with my students, but as a Math teacher, I also feel a bit hesitant when I consider that fact that constant teacher-student and student-student collaboration requirement. These tools would help me to deliver the course content effectively and incorporating many other rich resources like OER’s, Khan Academy videos would surely enrich the whole process but as Kyla states in her blog post even I don’t think that I am ready to be a full-time online educator. Facilitating an online course requires more than just having strong knowledge of the subject we are teaching. I can see the benefit these tools can offer, but I fear that I might not be able to foster those same relationships online which I can in face to face class.
Finally, I think that the Online classes which I have pursued and the variety of tools which I have been introduced have made me a better educator in this digital world. By using these tools and technology to connect and learn, has enabled me to become more comfortable and confident to teach online and distance courses in the future.