Distance Learning in the K-12 Classroom
Essay title: Distance Learning in the K-12 Classroom
How do we learn best? Any teacher will tell you that direct experience is the best teacher. Often, classroom teachers will conduct experiments and demonstrations or have the students watch or participate in a variety of experimental activities. A good teacher is a facilitator and allows the students in the classroom setting to share ideas and explore. Today, the classroom teacher has something else that has been placed in the classroom that will allow the students to do the same things as in the past. This tool is called hypermedia. A prime example of powerful hypermedia is the worldwide web, which provides more material than presently exists at most schools media centers. As educators, we know that students learn best when they are highly motivated. Heightened motivation creates an emotional component that increases retention and increases the amount of time the student is engaged with the learning material. Simulations, games, and exploration are used in the classroom today, but they are usually paper-based or board games. With the computer in the classroom, more sophistication is available. Our students have become accustomed to sophisticated materials and to sustaining lengthy periods of engagement in them (Notar, Wilson, & Montgomery, 2005). Everyday thousands of students “traveling” the world through distance learning. Students can now be exposed to people, places and experiences without the traditional restrictions of time and location (Colbert, 2005). In 1956 Benjamin Bloom developed the taxonomy for the cognitive domain of learning or a linear progression through knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, and synthesis to evaluation. This is what we have come to know as Blooms Taxonomy. The classroom teacher focuses on addressing the cognitive levels of knowledge and comprehension as building a foundation for critical thinking, and there are some teachers who work at the application level. The higher levels of the domain (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) are now coming to the forefront are we teach how to think and not what to think. This move towards critical and conceptual thinking is to be applauded. However, distance learning is no further along than the classroom in supporting high level cognitive skills development. Much of distance learning appears to be geared to focus on knowledge and comprehension, which works well with procedural and technical training (Notar, Wilson, & Montgomery, 2005). The classroom teacher is taught very early in their career and in the schooling experience the process needed for learning to take place in the traditional classroom. The distance learning educator, too, must know the system and process of distance learning learning. In order for the teachers to be comfortable with distance learning, they must first be comfortable with computers. Teachers often feel uncomfortable using computers and are unaware of the teaching and learning that computers and the internet are able to support. Although lack of professional development opportunities is often reported in terms of quantity, quality also seems to be an important issue. Traditional classroom type setting training sessions without follow up support have not been effective in preparing teachers to integrate classroom technologies. Rather, thoughtful and ongoing professional development programs are needed. These programs must be aligned to teacher needs and must take into consideration all necessary components that research has found to be important (Mouza, 2003). The distance learner formula for cognitive learning is: objectives + learning process + relationship to instructional media=cognitive learning. This same formula has been used in education from the beginning of organized instruction. Organizational influences in cognitive learning are attitudes/values, knowledge, skills, and experience. To account for these influences, educators must develop protocols, scenarios, models, and configurations that account for the interplay of these organizational factors (Notar, Wilson, & Montgomery, 2005). All types of instructions require dialogue. Learning is sharing. Most learning occurs in communication between students and instructors and among students themselves. Distance learning and many tools that come with it are going to be substantial and life changing. The way in which teachers teach has not changed. Instructors must still understand

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K-12 Classroom And Classroom Teachers. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/k-12-classroom-and-classroom-teachers-essay/