Week 9 Reflection 674
This week our essential question was “What lessons can we take from Global Distance Learning Efforts?” One thing becomes clear: other countries are investing in education, and distance education in particular, at a much higher level than our country.
One of the countries that stood out for me was United Kingdom. Their open university is one of the premier models of distance education in the world.
They were also rated among the top three Higher Education Institutions in the UK. They manage local study centers and monitor instructor and student progress. So the things they are doing are standing out and others are noticing.
Another region that impressed me was Finland and Norway, where education is given the highest priority in national policy. The Norwegian government was one of the first in the world with a national policy to support education which was passed in 1948. That is amazing! If we make education a priority, take some of the ideas mentioned from the other countries, and work together, we can increase the number of people seeking higher education in the U.S. That would be great for our country and the people living here.
In reading others’ blogs, I agree with Amy that the UK has developed a successful model, and I like that they are trying to keep the cost of learning down. She made a good point to know the cultural norms of the country and that instructors need to be sensitive of these cultural norms. I like how she gave examples of how, like in Japan, they have little interaction between instructor and student and, in Saudi Arabi, where even though it is strict for women, they are allowed to continue their education. It was a good point for me to see.
Dan had a great quote from Senechal (2016): “The use of technology removes time constraints imposed by traditional education—a key benefit for professionals who cannot afford to take time off work to pursue education.” This is so true for people like me, who can’t go to a traditional college to take classes because of having a job. Online classes let me pursue my education while still working. I believe that distance learning will only fan out more into the world.
Josie wrote that global acceptance of distance education is growing and will continue to grow. I agreed with her on this. I see that this is something everyone will be doing at one point in their life. She made a good point when she said online videos can make the adjustment for the student easier. I did not think of that. Foreign students are able to take transitional classes to adjust to a new culture and language, all through online classes.
Sara and I didn’t realize how far back distance education went. I also agreed
that UK is one that stuck out for me. She showed a video, and I think that is an
excellent approach that Norvig is using for online education. I like how he stops
for students to reflect and tries to make it feel like a one-on-one situation. Sara also
made a good point when she said teachers must look out for cultural misunderstanding.
This was a busy week for me as I was also one of the presenters. I have been keeping up on my reading and responding to others. I feel a little nervous about my online class. I have been working on the standards and the activities that I would like to do each week. I am just having a little trouble with the essential questions. I am hoping that this next week when we meet maybe I can get some help from others in the class. I think two brains are better than one, and all are better than two. I like working with others and getting ideas from them.
I think things will fall into place once I get the essential questions down. I thought about asking some of my co-workers at school, if I could ever find the time. I am excited about this class because it sounds like, in the next class I am going to take, I will be actually using this material online with my students.