Online College Experience A Success

Every day there is an increasing number of schools providing distance learning programs. This kind of learning makes educational institutions favored by a large number of students. You can earn anything, including a degree from an accredited online college. But this kind of learning takes dedication and commitment to be successful and the choices you make and the approach you use will determine how successful the online learning experience will be for you.

Decide that online learning is best – Online learning unfortunately is not for everyone. Considering that there is no face to face interaction with classmates and teachers, you must be a self-motivated and driven person to be a success in the end. Physical classrooms fit some people better, but if you are comfortable with independent learning then an online college might be just good for you.

Keep in mind online does not mean faster – One common misconception is that online learning offers a faster learning experience. Just because you can learn at your own pace does not mean that you will manage to finish the course faster. The course scheduling must be done reasonably so you have enough study time that success calls for. Think more about achieving your learning goals rather than completing the course in the shortest time possible.

Sign up with an accredited school – The last thing you want is to waste your time and money on a college that is not accredited because then it means that your certificates will not be valid. A college that is not registered and accredited will get you nowhere so there is a need to do your homework when choosing the best online college so that your efforts will amount to something in the end. You can use local education departments to get a list of accredited colleges you can join.

Meet all system requirements – Your computer must meet with the requirements for a pleasant e-learning experience. It must be up to date and reliable in performance. The requirements vary from one college to the other, especially in terms of windows. Browser requirements can also be different and you must adhere to the requirements. If there are software requirements, then you should also make sure that you meet them all before beginning the course. The readier you are, the easier it will be to enjoy a smooth learning experience. Reliable internet connection is also a must.

Manage your time – Online learning offers you lots of independence and if you are not careful with time you could end up lagging behind. Plan your hours so that you have enough time to listen to lectures, watch helpful videos, schedule study blocks and also create reading time. Make sure your study environment is suitable and that you remain very comfortable when sitting for the studies. You must also know what your distractions are and come up with ways to work around them so you do not waste too much time.

Educational Technology and Science

Today’s students, and even many of the parents, having grown up with technology as a part of their daily lives, retain certain expectations and assumptions regarding the way technology is used for learning. No longer can the classroom computer be set off in the corner to be used sporadically for special activities nor can video be used as a babysitter. Technology must become an integral part of classroom life.

What Students Need

If our job, as educators, is to prepare students to become successful members of our society, then in addition to the traditional knowledge and skills, students must now be prepared to access, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize immeasurable quantities of information. They need to have exceptional listening skills, be able to use email, understand basic operating systems, use word processing and other software, and use the internet for research.

This need poses new challenges for teachers, especially those who may not feel as prepared to use technology as their students might be. It is time for educators to overcome the outdated idea that they must be experts in educational technology before the students are allowed to use it.

Some Benefits of Educational Technology

o increases interest (even in rote tasks)
o provides a purpose for learning
o promotes the perception that all knowledge is related (not isolated bits)
o allows for student individuality in learning styles

Educational Technology in the Science Classroom

The decision to apply technology in the learning environment is often not driven by the technology but by the task at hand.

Take, for example, the case of the physics teacher who needed to set up some labs for thermodynamics but had no money left for supplies or equipment. Because he was lucky enough to have 8 computers in his classroom, he was able to use them to create the labs. The students were sent to science software the school uses and a website. The site has some great simulations that this teacher feels are more interactive and that do a better job of demonstrating the physics behind the topic than traditional labs.

Because science learning requires a great deal of critical analysis, using educational technology in the science classroom is especially warranted. Learning to solve complex problems requires a different instructional approach than learning isolated skills and information required for standardized testing purposes. For example, while doing internet research, a student needs to be able to evaluate an internet source for reliability, accuracy, and bias; the same type of information required in science exploration activities.

In order to fully prepare our students for “real” life, as educators we need to not only provide them with the content knowledge they need, but also the ability to:

accurately acquire information from visual and auditory sources (watching and listening)
develop solutions to problems and then present these solutions to others using various forms of media
display originality and employ problem solving skills during the creative process
o be team players and good collaborators
demonstrate cross-cultural awareness
communicate complex ideas effectively

I contend, as do many educational experts, that the use of technology in the classroom is, by far, the best way to accomplish these lofty goals. Educators must prepare for a future that involves much technology and they need to keep abreast of change by adopting effective strategies that use appropriate technologies.

Digital Education Technology

It is important to note right away that this enormous emphasis on technology use does not mean that the teachers will become less important, quite contrary. Technology is here to be used as a tool by teachers and empower them to deliver lessons in a way that the old analog school, still stuck in the last century, is simply not able right now. Teacher are indispensable as the most powerful motivators that exist to actually get children to learn, using the most modern technology or not.

Examples of using education technology in practice include, for instance, incorporating rich media and online resources as means of accessing knowledge. Even games can be used as education technology, especially adaptive software that is made to be greatly interactive. Classroom assessment tools can enable teachers to immediately spot the gaps in their students’ knowledge and tailor their teaching accordingly. Data analysis and management tools can offer valuable feedback that assists teachers and school leaders in better information management.

Some studies have found that when technology is involved in learning, the students are more engaged in knowledge acquisition. Since technology in the classroom offers specialized learning, struggling students are more likely to catch up with their peers when they can use education technology.

Of course, it is impossible to talk about education technology without at least mentioning e-learning and the MOOC (massive open online courses) revolution. They are giving the students around the world the unprecedented access to the best schools and best teachers available today. At the moment, MOOCs are used in higher education almost exclusively, but in the not too far off future they may be used from kindergarten!

It is hard to stress enough how important is incorporating modern education technology and all it can offer (we’re only just starting to scratch the surface on its possible uses and benefits) in today’s school.

Expenditure on technology in schools is steadily rising every year, and around the world. Mobile technology, such as tablets and laptops are contributing to this rise the most. School leaders obviously firmly believe that investing in education technology is the way of the future.