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Virtual Learning vs. Traditional December 27, 2011

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.
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I found an article today as I was sifting through e-mails.  Virtual Schools Booming as States Mull Warnings discusses how more and more students are switching to virtual learning as opposed to the traditional brick and mortar classroom for a variety of reasons, such as to avoid long commutes to school, add courses they wouldn’t otherwise be able to take, and save their school districts money. 

As I read this I see a lot of the reasons I hear my own students’ families say they switched to online learning.  Then I also began to wonder why are the teachers switching from the traditional classroom to the online classroom and I started making a list of my own reasons.

I switched to online teaching in January 2010.  When considering that avenue it was because of a few reasons, but my two main reasons were the commute as I was driving over 70 miles one way each day to teach and my own safety.  After having a student threaten me in my own classroom, I no longer felt comfortable or safe in that school and I didn’t want to be there.  That’s not fair to me, the district, and especially not the student.

Now almost two years later, I am still teaching online and I love it.  My reasons for doing it haven’t changed, but I have added to them.  I like the comfort of being at home and available to my family when they need me.  I am available to students outside the normal 8 am – 3 pm school day through e-mail, Skype, text messaging, phone, and other communication outlets.  I can grade more easily and readily because it is right in front of me.  If I am sick, I can still teach!  I don’t need a substitute teacher.  And the best and most important for me now, is that I can still do my work as I travel. 

I still want to share the article even though I focused on the teacher instead of the student and their quality/quantity of learning because I felt that it held valuable information for anyone who was considering or questioning that alternative.

Shutterfly Saves the Day December 9, 2011

Posted by jlhawkinson in Technology and Business.
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Normally, I create my own Christmas cards having my children dress up in whatever gear from the sports they play. Well, my son has switched to running track and cross country. Not much equipment there. So I was having a hard time coming up with some ideas.

Well I was going through my Shutterfly album and came across a picture of my children from Homecoming and thought, “What a great way to send a current pic of the kids and wish everyone a Merry Christmas at the same time!!!”

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

So, here is to you and your family, wishing you the safest and merriest of holidays!