Archive for July 2012

Week 5 Blog

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Blog Assignment Week 5


                This week we were required to search through Open Course websites and kind of get a feel  of the quality of courses that are offered out there on the world wide web for free.  In my search of courses this week, I wanted to identify a course that was in the content area that I teach in high school.  I came across this course title The Renaissance from 1300-1600 which  was offered during the Fall 2004 semester.  I teach the Renaissance period in my World History class so I decided to see what this course really had to offer

                I found this course to be very user friendly and easy to navigate. On the homepage there was a picture of Tycho Brahe with his quadrant mural. Astronomicae Instaurata Mechanica, 1558 along with the course highlights, course features, and course description. The thing that surprised me the most was the lack of course objectives. I searched through the entire course and did not find one objective listed. Objectives should state the conditions under which learning should occur, the performance expected of the learner, and the standard to which the performance will be matched (Simonson, et al, 2012, p. 158).

As I continued to navigate the course, it really impressed me at how well planned the course was based on the syllabus that was provided. The course also featured several different syllabus to show how the course changed over the years. A syllabus is an important document in any class because it informs students of how the class will operate, the policies they must adhere to, when assignments are due, etc (, 2005).This course also had a calendar feature. The calendar feature listed all the assignments in order and the days in which the assignments were due. This would really help a student stay organized.

Each week there were several different readings that students needed to accomplish in order to be aligned with the lectures that were taking place that week.  The students in this particular class were required to purchase six different books for the class. I believe that six books for one class is a little excessive. Books are not cheap at all. Makes me so thankful that Walden includes your books in the tuition that is paid up front.

Overall, I thought the site was well organized, easy to navigate, and informative. It was disappointing to see the lack of objectives for the course. I am sure this is not a deal breaker for most college students, however as an educator it bothers me that none are posted. Objectives are the roadmap for the course. This course is also an undergraduate course. I could see a third or fourth year student taking this course with relatively no problems. I could see a freshman or sophomore possibly struggling with this course because of the rigor of the course. It requires the learner to be very self directed and motivated to do well in the course. On a personal note I will be using some of this course content to serve as supplemental materials in my classroom



Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson. (2005). Writing a syllabus for a distance learning class. Retrieved July 29, 2012 from





Week 3 Blog

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Distance Learning is becoming more of the normal educational experience as technologies advance in the 21st Century. Digital technologies for learning, such as self-paced learning modules, multimedia case studies, simulations, video tutorials, and communications and assessment tools, can increase the array of learning opportunities for adult students and their teachers. ( 2010) I chose to reply to the second example in this week's resources. Being that I am a history teacher this example was right up my avenue. The history teacher wanted his students to tour a prominent art museum located in New York and critique two pieces of art in which students were then to discuss amongst themselves their critiques. The fundamental issue here is that the class is located on the west coast. So naturally a virtual field trip will allow students to accomplish the task at hand. He/she would need to take a virtual tour of the museum. The museum of Natural Science in New York offers virtual tours of the exhibitions. They also offer comprehensive packages for teachers to distribute to their students.

Many organizations in today's society use numerous venues to advertise to their customers. For example, many organizations have facebook, or twitter accounts which allows people to follow and post comments about the organization. Media sharing sites can facilitate the review of your peers work. The artifacts posted on media sharing sites can be viewed and commented on by a much wider audience than a video sent to a family member or a friend. (Laureate Education Inc. 2009) I believe that for this particular assignment, the instructor should have students blog their critiques. Upon review of the blogs students should then post their blogs to the museums social media website if available.

In terms of the discussion portion of the assignment, I would suggest that the instructor create a wiki page for students to have their discussion. The instructor can create multiple tabs on the wiki page so that students could select the corresponding tab with pieces of artwork that they critique to further their discussion on the matter. Wikis are web-based, making it possible to edit from any computer. (Berners-Lee 2012) A wiki can be an excellent tool for collaborative online writing assignments and group activities compiling information in a single online resource (Simonson, et al, 2012). I would also leave an option for students to create podcasts and embed them in the wiki page.



Berners-Lee, T. (2012). Advantages of Wikis. Retrieved July 13, 2012 from (2008). Technology and Distance Learning. Retrieved July 13, 2012 from

Laureate Education Inc. (2009). The Technology of Distance Education. Multimedia Program.


My Definition of Distance Learning

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I recieved my undergraduate degrees from Lincoln University. The first Historically Black College and University established in this nation. As you can see I have a lot of school pride. I received my Master's degree in Teacher Leadership (Administration and Supervision) for the Notre Dame of Maryland University in preparation for becoming an assistant principal at the secondary level.Walden University is my first online, distance education learning experience. I have heard of the term distance learning before while I was in the Army. As soldiers we had an opportunitnity to pursue our educational goals. So many soldiers took advantage of the benefits. Officially Simonson, et al (2012) states in their defining distance learning in four components. Distance Learning is Institutionally Based where there is a seperation of the teacher and students were interactive communication are used to share media, resources and learnings experience amongst classmates.

This week we were required to provide a personal definition of distance education. At a first glance I told myself "this is easy" So I defined distance education as education that doesn't take place in the classroom and it involves technology. I knew learning took place however, it wasn't in the classroom. I knew there was accountability because assignments had to be submitted for grades. I knew resources were provided in order to deliver the essential knowledge needed to meet course objectives. I never considered attending an online university. What I didn't consider was the actual rigor of the courses. The actual amount of real learning that occurs on a daily basis. The collaboration between between classmates, their personal experiences and connection to a group of adults who value and respect each others professional opinions.

What I didn't forsee is how my definition would change throughout the course of the week. I seriously took my time and considered much before actually developing a definition for myself. With that I said I formulated a more complex definition. Distance Learning is defined as " Learning that is communal with classmates that are connected through technology outside of the traditional classroom in order to collaborate, and interact with each other. This interaction leads to group discussions, that fosters a sense professional responsibilty to contribute meaningfully to the learning of all individuals involved in the class. It is through this relationship buliding, technology and resources that allows learning to take place."


My own personal experiences with online education has been nothing but the best. It is more than what I expected. I have learned so much from each of my classes here at Walden. I think we all will be "Masters" of APA at the conclusion of this program. I have taken bits and pieces of what I have learned and have incorporated them into web 2.0 tools for my students. I use edmodo in all of my classes. My students have weekly discussion questions that they must answer and respond to. They post the majority of their homework on edmodo as well. It is my objective to help my students be somewhat prepared as to the world that awaits them once they leave the beautiful halls of high school.

Distance Education is a rapidly growing field. It attracts thousands of new students or persons of interest on a daily basis. Acording to Simson et al, (2012) the Sloan Consortium cited in 2008 that enrollment in online courses increased to 4.6 million from 2 million in 2003. This field will continue to grow by the numbers each year. It is convienent to take courses online. It is fits practically anyones lifestyle. The benefits are plenty. The online collaboration with my class serves to be a great beenfit not only to me but to my classmates and in my case. my sttudents".Distance education is here to stay. It is imperitive that the integrity of these courses are kept for all to enjoy the benefits that it brings.




Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and
learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.)
Boston, MA: Pearson.


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