Category Archives: EC&&I 833

Lets Try Plickers!

Assessment Technologies have changed the possibilities of assessment. There are many tools out there that can be used for formative and summative assessment and long gone are the days of the traditional pen and paper assessments. Technology can provide students with a variety of tools that they can show and share what they know and what they have learned about a topic. Digital assessment has the ability to become embedded in learning and does not have to be something that is completely separate and done at the end of a unit. Digital assessment allows teachers to get immediate feedback on exactly where their students are at. This allows them to assess that data and use that immediate data to inform their planning in order to meet the students exactly where they are at. There are many benefits to using assessment technology within the classroom.

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In saying all of this I know that many teachers have been using Assessment Technologies for years but quite honestly I haven’t used them much at all. One challenge that I have had with them is having access to enough technology in our classroom to use these on a regular basis. I feel like I have been my own barrier in this and so this week I made it my mission to see what I could find that could be used within my classroom even without having access to a full set of classroom devices.

When searching for an option that does not require each student to have their own device I found that Plickers would be a great tool to test out. I have heard about Plickers before and knew that it was a multiple choice assessment technology but I assumed that Plickers would be similar to Kahoot where students would select their answer on their own device. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that Plickers is a tool that offers the same multiple choice type of experience as Kahoot but that it only requires the teacher to have a device and not every single student.

Plickers requires teachers to print off a set of class cards where every student is assigned a Image result for plickers cardscard. Each card is unique to that student that has a different shape that is scanned when the student holds up their card. Students are required to turn their card to demonstrate their understanding by picking the answer A, B, C or D. Students need to be informed and taught how to properly hold their cards so that their fingers are not covering up the pictures as well and need to be taught how to turn their card to show which answer they have picked.

The following video demonstrates how Plickers can be used in the classroom to give teachers quick, informative and immediate feedback on their students learning.

Considering last week was a short week at school I only had the opportunity to introduce Plickers and give it a single try in our classroom. I am looking forward to this week to give it another try and begin to see what type of data I can collect and see how it can be used to inform my planning and teaching. All in all, I think that Plickers is a great option for incorporating Assessment Technology in the classroom when you do not have access to a classroom set of devices!

Practicing with Plickers

This week, our professor Alec, asked us to explore an assessment technology that is new to us. I am choosing the tool called Plickers. I heard about Plickers a few months ago and have recently started using it in my classroom on occasion. I was able to use it a couple times last year and just this week, my current students used it for the first time.

Plickers is a free assessment tool which provides a quick and easy check for understanding from students. I chose to explore this tool because my students really liked using Kahoot! however because we only had access to 5 iPads, not all students were able to participate at the same time or they would have to participate in groups which did not provide an accurate picture of student understanding.

There was no significant challenges to setting up Plickers. It is quite easy to use and I was able to get going with it quite quickly. Plickers uses coded multiple choice cards. I chose to print the cards on cardstock and laminate them to ensure durability throughout the year. My students keep the same card all year to ensure further ease of use for me! Additionally, while this tool can be used for both formative and summative assessment, I primarily use it as a tool for formative assessment and unit reviews prior to summative assessments.

Some of the other pros for using this tool include:

  • Very simple to use for students.  They just need to rotate a card to show their answer.
  • Very simple for teachers to use the app, to scan, and to project answers.
  • Plickers cards are easy to handle, and come in different sizes typical to larger auditoriums, and in larger size fonts for younger students to be able to read.
  • Students are engaged. It’s fun! They are eager to get the correct answer because they get anonymous feedback following each question.
  • It is non-threatening to use because their names are not being used to show correct or incorrect responses. However, as the teacher, I can see their names on my phone so I can easily assess who is being successful with the questions in real-time.

On the other hand, many of us are aware of the cons of using a multiple choice assessment.

If you’d like more information, here is a review of Plickers by Common Sense Media. Or check out this teacher review: 5 Reasons to Try Plickers.

If you haven’t tried Plickers, I recommend that you do!


To Web and Education 3.0… and beyond!

So just when I think I finally have Web 2.0 down…. Web 3.0 comes flying at me. What does it all mean?!


In my group’s presentation this week, we covered the evolution of Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. This truly marked the change of an information only web, to an interactive web in which users contribute and participate.

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Web 2.0 is home to many educational tools that our class had the opportunity to explore and collaborate together on how they could be used in our classrooms. There is so much potential power and the ability for Web 2.0 tools to enhance learning, but there are barriers as well such as access to technology and lack of teacher professional development in this area.

I think more in my personal life than my professional life, I am starting to see the shift from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0. The advent of social media (which I think is pretty great in a lot of ways), was a big part of Web 2.0. Not only do we have social media now, but often on my social media I see ads for things that I have just been searching for on google, or the freaky thing I swear – just talking about with friends. The personalized, individual experience for us on the internet is part of the shift to Web 3.0. Sage did a great job breaking down terms such as the Semantic Web, and the Web of Things in her blog post, and I also found this video helpful in my understanding of this complex, and at times difficult to grasp concept.

In the same way I am having a hard time fully imaging this futuristic Web 3.0, I am sure my parents struggled with the thought of finding everything you could in a library online, and being able to chat with someone overseas on video. This shift to Web 3.0 also has an impact on education that I am not entirely sure what will look like yet, but it is a concept that Jackie Gerstein explores.

The shift to Education 3.0 really involves a complete pedagogical change for most teachers, and in my mind, a complete overhaul of our current 4 wall classroom school system. Like the personalized/individualized experience Web 3.0 offers, Education 3.0 creates self-determining learners who are essentially in control of what they are learning. As Gerstein discusses, one of the barriers is teachers’ being focused on a fixed mindset instead of a growth mindset. Excuses such as not enough time, training, or needing to cover content are part of a fixed mindset in this transition to Web 3.0 – all which revolve around the teacher, not the student.

“The learner needs to be central to all teaching endeavors” (Gerstein, 2014)

Whether it is education 1.0 or 14.0, I believe we must keep the focus on the learners, but also properly support, train, and prepare teachers to meet their students needs both inside, and outside of the classroom.

Education: Are we one step behind?

As we know the internet and technology is something that is continuously progressing at rates that many of us cannot imagine being able to keep up with. I haven’t ever sat back to think about the timeline of the internet and how it has progressed from web 1.0 to web 2.0 and now starting the progression into web 3.0. This weeks presentation by Jana, Katie, Kyla, and Brooke allowed me to really understand the differences between each era of the internet and has encouraged me to consider how these changes have impacted teachers and education.

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I can remember the days of web 1.0. I was in high school when I was first introduced to the internet and looking back I cannot recall really ever using the internet for learning in high school. I do however remember using the card catalog and the encyclopedias in the library for research but I do not recall using the computers for research what so ever. What I do have memories of is typing class and remember how our ‘computer classes’ were primarily focused on learning to type. Reflecting on high school I do not have any memories of any teacher taking time teaching us how to use the internet.  In Scott’s blog post this week he describes web 1.0 perfectly. He shares how the internet 1.o was just used for ‘read-only’ ways and there was no way for students to contribute to and add to their learning online. When considering what web 1.0 was used for it is easy to see that there was not much difference between using an encyclopedia or using the internet for research as it was all fairly relative at that point.

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Moving into my undergrad I remember the shift to web 2.0. I remember this shift based on the internet then became a social space we were able to be much more connected online. Although I remember my social life becoming much more connected online I do not remember my learning becoming more connected online. Reflecting back on my undergrad degree I still remember going to the library and taking out all of the textbooks that I would need in order to do research on a topic for a class. I feel that the lack of knowledge of how to use the internet for research based on having no education of that in high school really hindered my use of the internet during my undergrad. It was not until I began my Masters degree that I really was able to understand how all academic articles and academic journals could be accessed online and that we do not require the library like we once did for research.

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Looking at web 1.0 and web 2.0 from a teachers perspective and how it was used for my own education it seems that teaching and learning seem to constantly be a step behind the development of the internet. Many teachers currently today are still learning the basic skills of navigating the internet. They are still learning the basic skills themselves so incorporating technology into the classroom is something that teachers are struggling with. If teachers are not using technology in the classroom today then they are not meeting the needs of their current students and teaching and modeling the skills they require to be successful in navigating the internet independently outside of school.

Many teachers are still using the internet as a ‘read-only’ tool in their classrooms. They are now using it to allow students to research and look up information but they are not teaching them how to connect with others and how to be an active participant online. This becomes problematic as there become gaps in understanding with students and what possibilities the internet offers us for learning and how it should be properly used. Many teachers do not want to bring the ‘social’ aspect of web 2.0 into their classrooms. This may be due to their comfort level with the tools or they do not see the value in teaching using these tools. Due to these gaps students then miss out on learning about Digital Citizenship.

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As teachers, we have a responsibility to understand the development of technology and how it impacts what students need to be learning and how we will meet those educational needs. Considering a large portion of web 2.0 is social media it is important for teachers to explore how their teaching needs to help students understand Digital Citizenship and help them understand how their digital footprint is a permanent footprint. We have a responsibility to be role models online and use these tools within our classrooms to model what appropriate online behavior looks like. There needs to be more professional development for teachers in these areas to help teachers understand how they can push themselves outside of their comfort zones and incorporate this into their teaching.

With the shift moving towards web 3.0 it is clear that education will once again be behind. Many teachers are just now becoming comfortable with or beginning to understand how Web 2.0 influences our teaching so this again will be a shift that we will need to make up ground on. I think it is important that teachers begin to have the conversations of what Web 3.0 is and how that will impact and change our teaching once again. School boards need to begin to consider what types of professional development will be needed to help teachers with this new transition. As a teacher, it can sometimes be frustrating how quickly technology is changing. We need to find ways to embrace it so we can help our students navigate the online world responsibly and to the best of their ability.

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Education as a profession needs to commit to keeping up with the fast past changes with technology to ensure that we are preparing our students to successfully navigate the online world today, tomorrow and in the future. We need to be very mindful of the role we play in ensuring that they are educated in how to safely and successfully use technology.

Changes in OUR Tech World!

!!Initial thoughts on the quote by Gerstien!!

In terms of change….Change is inevitable! Change is continuous! There is no argument there. I think life would be boring if everything stayed the same.

In saying that, change has the potential to be very difficult and stressful for people. Relating this back to the education of our students, I definitely think it’s important for education to continue to change and improve, especially to keep up with our current changes in society, specifically technology. If the goal of education is to create future contributing members of society, then we must continue to update and change our teaching practices.

So much has changed in the last 20 years in the tech world. Exposing and introducing productivity suits and web tools to students is very important and can have many positive impacts. The following of all the examples of what web 2.0 and web 3.0 has to offer for yourself as well as our children.

I use so many of these already in my everyday life, and try to incorporate them as much as I can in the classroom. In not incorporating these into the classroom, I at least make an effort to talk about the the web 2.0 and web 3.0 apps. Jana, Katie, Brooke, and Kyla O did a fantastic job discussing the benefits and barriers of the web. I definitely think these are very important to consider when introducing different aspects of tech to students. Below, are some of the ones the outlined.


I also found the article The Role of Web 2.0 Technologies in K-12 Education  that was posted by the group helpful in terms of all the ways in which you can use the web in the class. In the section Classroom Examples of Web 2.0 Applications in this article, you will find many great ways to use web 2.0 in the classroom. Blogging, social networking, wikis, and social bookmarking are all great examples mentioned in the article. As well, and as I mention before, “Our students will be living and working in this networked environment in which they must be able to locate, manage, create, and communicate online content. Even now, Web 2.0 tools are being utilized in the workplace, media and home” as stated in the the section Relevance for Teaching and Learning!
Thanks for the great presentation ladies!


What are your favorite web 3.0 apps?!




Web 3.0

This week, my group presented on Web 1.0 and 2.0. We discussed everything from the history of the web to theories of learning as they relate to the web to creating a collaborative document using Web 1.0 and 2.0 tools and finally to a discussion of social media which is a huge part of Web 2.0. We had just got our heads wrapped around Web 1.0 and 2.0 and then….Alec threw a Web 3.0 blog prompt at us!

What the heck is Web 3.0 anyway?

Alec asked us to think about the following thoughts:

“The web influences people’s way of thinking, doing and being, and people influence the development and content of the web.  The evolution of the web from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and now to Web 3.0 can be used as a metaphor of how education should also be evolving, as a movement from Education 1.0 toward that of Education 3.0.  The Web, Internet, Social Media, and the evolving, emerging technologies have created a perfect storm or convergence of resources, tools, open and free information access.” (Jackie Gerstein)

Gerstein’s metaphor of a “perfect storm” of resources, tools, open and free information access is a great description of what the web has become. We all know there are endless tools to use, information is endless and there are pros and cons to each click we make on the web. The potential effect that each of our clicks has is part of this storm. Our choices with the current web are endless but there is implications for everything we do.

This chart gives some ideas of what the world and education will look like as it has evolved in different stages of the web:

I would like to wrap up the blog post by examining the following thoughts…

This article provides some great examples of how Web 3.0 will effect education. The responses are presented by a few leading tech / education gurus. Here are a few of my favourite responses:

  • “For a generation, schools spent money on hardware and software, and the results didn’t point to the idea that these technologies were demonstrably improving learning outcomes. Now, we have millions of kinds of devices that can access the Internet. So it’s not necessarily that you have to buy one type and it equals educational technology. Eventually, all machines will be Internet-connected, and the “educational” piece will be in the way teachers use the digital world to foster learning” – @BlakePlock
  • “Another great disruption is the fact that there are people who are going to say, “We can do all this for next to nothing.” Sebastian Thrun of the Stanford AI class and his team at Udacity realized they can amortize costs across thousands of students and ultimately might be able to offer a computer science degree for as little as $500. Contrast that with the cost of a college education, and you see just how disruptive this could be”- Tim O’Reilly 
  • “Good teachers have always involved students in complex projects. But in the past, it’s been more difficult, with just the library down the hall and the teacher’s knowledge to guide them. As personal and continuous access to a Web 3.0 environment becomes a reality, teachers will be able to develop engaging, interesting and more complex assignments that are supported by a variety of resources. Students can understand more about, say, backyard bugs by engaging with an entomologist online, or earn a digital badge as they demonstrate advanced search techniques” – @OfficeofEdTech

Thanks for reading!


Shifting towards Web 3.0

Web 1.0… shift… Web 2.0… shift… Web 3.0!

To begin, let’s take a look back at the comparison in Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. My first memories of the internet would have been with Web 1.0. In my world, I used Web 1.0 to communicate on MSN, search cheats to my N64 and Gameboy games as well as playing games such as whyville! Whenever I was searching for information I used AskJeeves as my parents often used it to search. Following this, I made personal web pages to highlight all of my fantastic friends so the world could see… It is crazy how much the internet has evolved and yet still will evolve more! Here is a graphic to interpret internet users in the world. It will continue to rise over time as well.

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When looking at Web 2.0, this is when the shift happened. Now, people were able to interact on websites which created more online communication, not only through things like MSN, but the ability to leave comments on websites and ask a variety of questions. This article provides insight into the dynamic changes between 1.0 and 2.0. Now that we understand those, how can we begin to prepare for what Web 3.0 will have to offer? Here is a video that is helpful to understand Web 3.0. An example provided: You like action movies and Italian food… you turn on your laptop to open a web browser. Google search: good action movies and then which movie theaters are open. Next, you read some reviews you have found online then search nearest Italian restaurant websites. This may have taken a significant amount of time. Experts think that Web 3.0 will drastically change this. It will make searches faster, easier and more personalized. For example you may search “I want to watch an action movie and then have dinner at an Italian restaurant”. Web 3.0 browsers will demonstrate a list of options and act similar to a personal assistant. The more you use the web searching tools, the easier it will be able to assist you. Then you can begin to add more vague questions and the browser will already have an insight into your likes and dislikes.  MIND BLOWN! I can’t even begin to imagine how life changing this will be.

What impact does the shift to Web 3.0 have on education?  

I have been wondering when the shift from school supplies will turn into…

School Supply list: Device (iPad, Chromebook, Laptop)

When reading Justine’s blog, she wrote that the issues that already exist with Web 2.0 begin lack of privacy and limited resource allocation will continue t be concerns as we shift to Web 3.0. I think we are already seeing a reliance on technology in the classroom more and more each day. But this is also limited to my current teaching assignment. My school has access to technology very frequently and easily. This may not be the case for everyone. The impact this would have on education will differ between location, socio economic conditions, and teacher training. Even now, some schools have access to technology but teachers feel they are missing professional development to enhance their learning and understanding of how to incorporate this into their teaching. My fear would be that teachers will feel they are losing their value and I wonder if there will be a shift from face to face classes and more geared towards online classes. When would this shift occur? How far are we away from Web 3.0? All in all, I think we need to embrace all of the changes that come with education. As teachers, we can be lifelong learners and stay up to date with the newest trends in education and continue to challenge ourselves to be the best teachers we can.



Web 2.0 Apps

Quiz or Assessment Websites:





Goose Chase

Cross Curricular:

Math Games and Websites



Buzzmath – a lot of free math sheets to suit your needs

Khan Academy

Freckle Math Websites – a wonderful (and free) website for teaching grammar.  It uses ideas that the students generate from their own interests to create lessons at their level.  Best of all all of the data is reported back to you. And did I mention – It is free! – this is a great website for students to practice reading.  They are given a pre-test and then (Mrs. Sullivan username) – FREE reading passages and tools – like newsela but with listening activities and not reading ( – a current events newspaper for kids at their level.  Even with the free version you still get to assign different articles to your class.  There are questions and writing prompts for each article. With the updated version (that you can get for a free trial) you can see the results of all students’ work.

CNN10 is ten minutes of the news suitable to middle years students to watch.


CBC News for Kids – like newsela but from Smithsonian

French or other language website:

Typing Websites


BBC Type – warming the goat’s voice is loud and annoying, use headphones.  

Other Websites:

Flip Grid


Go Formative


Mentimetre – interactive presentation software

Tellagami – create short videos with characters (like avatars) great for kids that are shy to present in public.




The Tools That Allow Connection in Online Classes

Happy midway point classmates! I really cannot believe that this semester is already halfway complete. I already feel that we have made some amazing headway in learning about online tools and ways they can enhance our learning. I am looking forward to the final presentations and of course more dialog and learning with you all!

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Similar to what Katie shared in her blog post, I feel that prior to taking Alec’s classes I always said that I would not take any online classes. I felt that it would be a lot to keep up with and the idea of working independently really just did not appeal to me. At this point, I assumed all online classes would be similar to working through online modules with no interaction with classmates. This did not appeal to me at all, as I love in class discussions and hearing from and learning alongside my classmates.

Insert my first online class: Welcome to class, there will be synchronized meeting times. Sayyy whattt? I couldn’t at that time imagine how 20 of us could all be online together- live. Let’s just say during the first class I was amazed at how Zoom was such an effective tool for our online class.


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Zoom is an amazing video conferencing tool that allows students and teachers to meet online in real time. This tool allows for the flexibility of meeting online for class and not having to leave your house to meet in person. Yet Zoom satisfies the students who need that push for accountability that meeting face to face at a designated time encourages. I have been pleased with being able to take a class away from the university in the comfort of my own home but with a synchronized meeting time that allows me to still interact and have discussions with my classmates. I love the options and features that Zoom provides to students and teachers. The breakout rooms are a great way to encourage small group discussion as sometimes sharing in a large group is beyond peoples comfort zones.  I also love the chat feature in Zoom. This allows the students to have a real-time discussion about the points being presented in class. This feature allows students to ask questions and share experiences without having to interrupt the presentation. I feel that this is hugely beneficial to further learning and provide students with real-world examples from their fellow classmates. This is a feature that is not available to students in a face to face classroom environment as it would be extremely disruptive. I feel that Zoom really is the best of both worlds. I feel that if I were to ever tackle teaching via distance, a video conferencing tool like zoom would be a must. This allows the teacher and student to still build a personal relationship where they can discuss topics in real time and not just via email.


Google Plus

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Before taking these classes I had very little knowledge of the Google world. I didn’t use my google account really at all. I used the basic google docs and google slides but that was the extent of my Google knowledge. This class has given me the opportunity to explore and use more of the tools that Google provides. The Google Plus Community I feel is one of the most crucial parts in running an online class successfully. Let’s be realistic- the online world can be quite overwhelming for many so the Google Plus Community allows and encourages students to work together and support one another. It is essential in troubleshooting any questions or issues that may arise. I feel that it is so helpful in getting a timely response to any course-related questions you may have. This community also takes the burden off of the instructor in being the knowledge keeper. It is amazing as a teacher to be able to use a tool such as Google Plus to pass the problem-solving questions onto classmates and have students work together to use their knowledge and problem-solving skills to help one another. I feel that the google plus community is a great hub for the class. If at some point in my career I were to teach a higher level class I feel that this would be a tool that I would use and encourage students to use so they could communicate and troubleshoot with their classmates.


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Twitter is a great online tool for teachers and students. Many teachers use Twitter to collaborate and learn from other professionals. When you find a topic that you are interested in it’s a great tool to allow you to connect with and follow other educators to get real-world examples of how things can be done in your classroom. Twitter can be overwhelming at times but I am beginning to learn how to sift through to find educators that are relevant and inspiring to what I am currently wanting to focus on and learn about. I find that Twitter is a great place to keep up with trends in news and education. It can be a place to browse to see what is trending and find topics in which you may want to read about and dig deeper into. It is a great place to form relationships with other inspiring educators who can inspire you and motivate you to further your teaching practices. I enjoy following my classmates as they are sharing articles and information that is relevant to further our understanding of our in-class topics.

Word Press

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Blogging is an online tool that allows students to reflect on, document and share their learning journey. Blogging encourages students to read and relate the work of the class to their current teaching practices. I have found blogging to be helpful as it encourages me to take the topics that we have been learning about and really begin to break down and pull apart my current beliefs and practices of teaching and learning. Blogging also encourages students to interact and read about other students perspectives on the weekly topics. I have learned so much more about these topics by reading my classmates’ blogs. It is interesting to read how others have different views or interpretations of topics and how those may challenge your thinking of the topic. This allows for discussion about how your ideas and others ideas may align or differ. I feel that blogs are a great way to encourage students to share and reflect on their learning journey.

I feel that all of these tools together create a great online learning environment. These tools allow students to feel connected to their professor as well as their classmates. I feel that in order to create a climate of sharing and collaboration professors of online courses need to find ways to allow students to connect with one another. I feel like Alec has thoughtfully considered what tools can be used in order to use the flexibility of online classes by allowing us to not have to meet in person but to still feel connected and have opportunities to collaborate, discuss and share our learning. I feel that these tools are very user-friendly and have a large impact on learning. I am excited to see how in the future I could potentially use these tools if my teaching career takes me in this direction.



Online Learning

Currently, I am in my second online class with Alec. Last semester, I took  EC&I 830: Contemporary Issues in Educational Technology with Alec. Reflecting upon my experience the very first class with Alec and comparing to now is like night and day! Referring back to my very first post in EC&I 830 I can confidently say I have come ALONG way. I have learned so much about the productivity suits and social media sites we use in class.


Learning about all these tech tools has also made me step out of my comfort zone in terms of using technology in my own classroom as well in other graduate classes. I feel as if Alec’s classes has opened a new door and has allowed me to look at learning in completely different ways.



The presenters Sapna, Hu, and Nataly did a fantastic job this past week presenting about online and distance education classes. I definitely have mixed feelings about these types of classes. As mentioned in the chat, cheating could potentially be a problem. I have taken a couple of online classes in my classes and I can confidently say I have been 100% faithful, but I cannot speak for everyone. Kyla M raised a great point in the group chat during the presentation. She states that “also true of regular school too… I have had students who couldn’t string together a paragraph in class but could magically produce full essays if they were allowed to take it home to work.” No matter how you look at it, there is potential for unfaithfulness.

On the flip side, the group discussed many benefits of online learning. The required reading this past week called A Review of Benefits and Limitations of Online Learning in the Context of the Student, the Instructor and the Tenured Faculty outlined several benefits of online including educational benefits. Below, is a snippet taken right from the article in which outlines some educational benefits…

In addition, Daniel mentioned the fact that the many EAL learners use online learning to help them learn English. He states that “many people learned foreign languages via shortwave radio programming.” Kyla also states “Classes such as Alec’s allow to flexibility assignment completion, independent learning, and an ability to connect with classmates outside of “classroom hours” via Twitter and the Google + Community” in her blog post! I can totally agree with her. Overall, I enjoy online learning and will continue to use it in the future. 

What other benefits do you see from online learning?!