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Professional Portfolio

Category: Education

Recently, a friend and colleague sat me down and asked me about what her Education and Training team should be doing with online learning. There has been a lot of shifting in the past decade with how we deliver learning. Online tools that brings the creation and delivery of online learning to the less technical is abound everywhere. With so many options and so much access to powerful tools like the Canvas learning management system an Storyline authoring tool and free resources like Moodle, putting something out there has become much easier. But with the abundance of resources also comes a challenge.…

Ever since I started taking courses at UW with the Certificate of Technical Writing and Editing, I’ve been itching to continue working in the Human Centered Design and Engineering Program. And now I’ve finally applied to their Master’s Program. I thought I’d take a moment and share with you my entrance letter to the program.

Education is a hot topic in today’s tumultuous economy and fast-paced technological society. It’s hard to go through life now without being bombarded by evangelists shouting about the future of education in our country. Everyone has an opinion and most are willing to sell you on fear of what will happen if we don’t follow their plan. I’m not going to lie: having been a teacher for the past seven years, I have many strong opinions about education. Today, I just want to share with you the direction I see English class taking in our country.

This semester, I came to an assignment in the English class in Aventa that required students to create a webpage. Some of my colleagues, when presented with assignments like this, allowed students to create a powerpoint instead, however, I wanted more out of my students. We live in a digital age, where delivering content on the web is going to be a reality for the majority of not all future workers.

In my time as an online teacher, many different students have crossed my path, each with his or her own story that had led them to online learning. While it’s impossible to tell with complete certainty which students will or will not succeed, it is quite possible to identify early on, the factors that will lead a student to be successful or unsuccessful in the online world. So here is my contribution to all those considering entering the online learning world.

My biggest reason for starting this blog has to do with my passion for learning. I find it to be a travesty that so many kids become disillusioned about education and come to hate learning, but my greatest disappointment with education is finding teachers who have forgotten that learning can and is meant to be fun. I always strive to make my assignments as interesting as I can, to choose readings that I think will be the most engaging for students, but that only goes so far. The question comes, how can I instill or revitalize the desire to learn and to create among my students? How can I get them to be so excited about writing, that they begin their own blog? How do I teach them that their words can be as infectious as the great writers we all admire?

Presence as an online teacher is very important. I have worked 3 years now at this online academy, and we have grown a lot over those years in terms of how, when, and how often we contact our students. When I first began at online, we had a vast number of students as a teacher and usually knew almost nothing about them. I couldn’t even have told you whose paper I was grading at any point in time. As advisors we knew our kids somewhat better, but we knew the ones who came in much more so than the ones doing their work out in the “cloud.” This led to a very low success rate of our students.