Many people think it is ironic that online educators have to meet face-to-face to learn more about online learning. However, as online learning educators know, it is all about the relationship with colleagues as well as the relationships between teachers and students that occur online…and in person. There have been several blog posts about the Virtual School Symposium here, here, here, here , here, here, and here. It was nice to read the many press releases about the growth of K-12 Online Learning from the Keeping Pace Report as well as the release of the report about International Online Learning. I wanted to add my voice to the many.
What I most appreciate about interacting with everyone at the Virtual School Symposium are the questions that no one asks and I don’t have to answer. It is nice to NOT have to answer these questions:
- Why is online learning important?
- Do students really learn online?
- How do you know students are really doing their own work online?
- Won’t online learning reduce the number of teachers?
It is nice to focus on more important questions like:
- What are the best models for online or blended learning?
- What does research say about the best ways to interact with students online?
- What pedagogical strategies work best online?
- What are some new ways to meet the needs of at-risk students such as students who are incarcerated or have dropped out of school?
- What are the best strategies to build relationships online with students to facilitate their learning?
See you next year at iNacol’s Virtual School Symposium which is scheduled for October 21-24, 2011 in New Orleans.