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Teaching and Learning Online
December 16, 2002

"A great deal of what we see still depends on what we're looking for." –Anonymous


In the September 2002 issue of Child Care Information Exchange, Chip Donohue, in his article “It’s a Small World After All! (Part 1) Taking Your First Steps into Online Teaching & Learning”, offered these suggestions for early childhood faculty and trainers:

“You bring more to the task of teaching and learning online than you may realize. Consider the following as you take your first steps into technology-based training and online courses.

· Begin with your content expertise and build from there

· Factor in your knowledge of the learners

· Build upon your technology skills and experiences

· Use technology as a tool

· See yourself as a teacher and a learner

· Recognize the value of students gaining technology skills and course competencies

· Stay connected with others who are teaching online

· Understand that the technology will fail occasionally

· Expect the unexpected

· Reflect

"Teaching and learning online can be challenging, frustrating, infuriating, exciting, and rewarding – all within a few minutes. The challenges of teaching online include the time commitment, learning to use the technology, converting content and activities, trying to help low tech/no tech students use a high tech learning system, dealing with server downtimes and technology meltdowns, and trying to have an off line life while keeping up with your online class.  

"I have enjoyed the process of teaching and learning online and despite the challenges and “givens” that create barriers to our success, I believe it is worth the time and effort for teachers and learners. When you create a sense of community online you realize it really is, 'A small world after all.' 

Do you teach online? We are preparing the first annual directory of early childhood online degree, credential, and certificate programs for an upcoming issue of Child Care Information Exchange. If you teach in an early childhood online program please contact Chip Donohue at cdonohue@uwm.edu so that we can include your program in the directory. 

The EC eTeaching Institute provides hands-on training, professional development and learning resources for early childhood faculty, trainers, and adult educators. The focus is on learning activities, techniques, and resources that help participants design and deliver effective distance education programs for child care professionals via the Internet. Join us just before the World Forum for the second annual EC eTeaching Institute in Acapulco, Mexico from May 10-13, 2003. For more information visit www.ChildCareExchange.com.


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