My name is Frances Ohanenye, the CEO of Youkay Educational Innovations. I am working toward a Specialist degree in Instructional Technology, and an essential part of that journey is to discover technology innovations that will provide an outlet for me to achieve and celebrate academic feats, explore technological advancements, share victories in all things academic, and assemble pedagogical brick-a-bracks.
I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication, a Master of Arts in Journalism, and several current educational certifications (middle school education, gifted in-field, middle school social studies and English language, and K-12 English language) in Georgia.
There are many reasons for my involvement in MOOC (massive online open course), but the most essential of them is that MOOC, an online course, allows participants like me access to unlimited course materials distributed and dispersed across the web, according to Wikipedia. A form of distance education, MOOC provides a positive experience for online users and allows for connection and collaboration. I am hoping to acquire a high level of technology savviness through this one-month intensive journey.
Over the last decade or so, certain technology terminologies have been arriving and getting muddled up in what they are and how they can be used. Prior to my involvement in this course, I never paid much attention to the distinctions among those concepts. After listening to Dr. Micahel Balfour’s clarification of Classifying K-12 Online Learning, I have gained a clearer picture of the different types of online/distance learning classifications as they apply to the K-12 arena so that I can use them appropriately. After all, this is going to be my new area of involvement, certification, so I must be politically correct in my usage of pertinent terminologies.
I have been involved in technology adoption and in the spread of it to students and colleagues, but I never concerned myself with the specific nature of the correct identity of what I was doing all those years. It appears that I have been involved in three of the four major categories of online/distance learning at one time of my learning and teaching experience: virtual, cyber, hybrid, and blended.
I am enrolled currently in a virtual class this semester at the University of West Georgia, started my doctoral degree at a cyber school, but I had to withdraw when I realized that my online degree and credits would not be recognized by brick-and-mortar universities. Also, I engaged my students in blended online learning by instructing them face-to-face while they performed instructional activities online. For a learning platform to be accepted as blended, the face-to-face and online activities must occur simultaneously as opposed to hybrid which does not have to happen at the same time. My department offers several courses in a hybrid format, so I have been familiar with the hybrid format.
I believe that of the four methods that have arisen over the past two decades, the blended format is the most apt for middle and elementary school students.