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Comparision of Classroom Styles (“Face to Face”, Hybrid, and Online)

“Face to Face” is known as the traditional teaching approach.  For this approach all learning is conducted in person.  The only learning that occurs outside of the classroom is homework that is to be completed at home.  Homework is used to reinforce learned skills in class (Crawford. 136).

“Face to Face” is an extremely successful tool for grades pre-k through 12.  Young children tend to struggle with commitment and self regulation.  They don’t want to be stuck in a classroom listening to an instructor and having to complete constant assignments.  However, if given the opportunity to attend online school in middle or high school, children would be less likely to complete assignments or put in much effort.  Also another huge benefit of “face to face” learning is the social aspect.  Young children need those social interactions in order to gain the social skills needed for life.  Relationships bloom when placed in a learning environment with others.  Friendship becomes natural as students get to know others in their class and find common interest. Negative effects of “face to face” learning also can occur.  For instance a student may be hesitant to share ideas and thoughts due to being worried of being wrong.  Bullying is a never-ending issue in all school systems.  Another side effect is that much learning become memorization rather than hands on experiences.  Students find themselves spending most of their time studying to the test.

A video to observe of preschool children interacting together is- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tILrvPPydSs .  So many skills are strengthened during such a learning opportunity.  Skills such as social, emotional, sharing are all being improved through such opportunities.

 Hybrid approach is the teaching approach that balances learning in the classroom and online.  The balance of time spent in each learning environment is decided by the school (Crawford. 136).

The benefits of a hybrid learning are extensive.  Using this approach the students still get the one on one socialization time as well as the ability to get to know and learn about their instructor.  Instructors are better able to understand their students and more accurately create a curve when having the opportunity to work with students face to face.  Confusion can also be addressed in person leading the student to feel more reassured and positive of the learning experience.  The online portion allows for deeper conversation and thought to be included in the course.  It creates an opportunity for students and instructors to continue a conversation over a period of days and continue to add thoughts and information that others can read, respond to, and apply in their own life.  In some case’s teachers may create a more watered down learning experience for their students through such a teaching approach.  Not all the time, but sometimes teachers become lazy and lower expectations of the online portion or vise verso due to the work of having to create a curriculum in both places.

Online classrooms are 100% conducted online.  This means that all assignments, lectures, and communication are completed with the use of a Learning Management Software (Crawford. 136). 

Such learning choices heavily depend on the self regulation and commitment of the student in order to achieve success.  Online classes offer the flex ability for students who work full time to still further their education.  Online courses do not have a particular schedule allowing the student to mold their learning schedule to their individual life.  Students are also able to spend more time applying their learning to their field of study.  Online courses typically ask the student to use real life situations to further learning.  Students are not expected to study to a test, but rather prove they understand the material and can apply it to real life situations.  An issue with online learning is that a student gets out of it what they put in.  This means that self regulation is what determines the outcome of the program for the student.  Such learning is not meant for students who are not serious about their learning and willing to put in a great deal of their time exploring and learning on their own with minimal support from an instructor.  Another huge issue is that professors do not have an opportunity to get to know their students.  This means that they are unable to truly know if a student is struggling or just slacking.  This uncertainty can lead to frustration when creating a curve for students grading.

All learning experiences have pros and cons.  However, there is no perfect fit for every student.  The reality is that all students have different learning styles.  Each student needs to reflect and know themselves well enough to know which learning style meets their personal learning.

References

Bates, C. & Watson, M. (2008). Re-learning teaching techniques to be effective in

hybrid and online courses. Journal of American Academy of Business,

Cambridge, 13(1), 38-44.

Crawford, C.M., Smith, R.A., & Smith, M.S. (2008). Course student satisfaction results:

Differentiation between face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning

environments. CEDER Yearbook, 135-149.

Do you think there is other ways to provide social experiences enriched enough to replace face-to-face schooling for a young child or even teen?

Are you involved in any communities in the education field … which ones? What effect does it have on your performance as a teacher?

Communities of Practice & Professional Learning Communities –

Both of these methods of learning and socializing rely on the involvement of other members within the same field of employment.  As adults in the work force, we often learn most from those around us.  Our colleges help to bring new ideas to mind.

A CoP occurs in the education field all the time.  Many times they are purposeful while others are just a result of a community of educators looking for support.  One common form that I have run into while teaching pre-kindergarten is being a member of a  data team.  In my case the data team met once a month for about twenty minutes.  Prior to the meeting each teacher would collect data in a particular learning area for all their students.  Then at the meeting we would compare the result from all the classes to see the strengths and weaknesses as a hole to better help implement instruction and improvement for all children.

However such groups of educators do not only exist in the classroom and school, but they are everywhere.  Due to technology, educators are able to interact with other educators around the world.  With such advancements, teachers are better able to understand and teach a wide range of students and concepts.  Blogging has become an increasing tool for educators and others to communicate with others to ask questions and share ideas and information.  Through a blog an open communication is possible for anyone who wants to join the conversation.  This means that the knowledge achieved through such a source is limitless and unimaginable.  As I find blogs I love I feel as though I become to really know the individual creating it, and become so enthusiastic to implement their ideas into my curriculum.

A PLC is very similar in my eyes to a CoP.  However, my best relation to it would be the discussion board for our class.  These boards are designed to help the student critically think about the research or data supplied and then create an analis of the results or provide research supporting a particular opinion.  Then it asks for the other members of the class to embrace other individual’s thoughts and believes and really create a full understanding of the ideas supplied.  Through throughly analyzing the work of each other we are better  able to understand other members of the educational field and the future of our field.

In both situations the goal of the community is to create a better understanding and knowledge of the field we work in.  The education field is constantly changing and can differ from state to state or even town to town.  With this said it’s increasingly important to stay connected with other members of the field to understand and prepare for the future of our careers as well as to be the most successful teacher possible.

Another amazing tool available on internet is Pintrest.  Through the use of Pintrest I feel as part of a community sharing so many great and exciting ideas for the early childhood classroom.  Being able to receive regular blog updates I am able to stay connected with particular member of the early childhood field.

Another community that I am a member of is the Association For The Education Of Young Children, Inc (Haeyc) in Hartford CT.  Through this community I have an opportunity to meet so many other members of the early childhood field and bounce ideas and concepts around, receiving so many different opinions and feedback.

My final project will relay on the use of the SmartBoard but I am still unsure of what extend.  I have considered doing a unit study of a particular subject of a particular area of the world or children from a different state.  It would be amazing for the students to interact with other students through such a technology.  Kind of like the idea of pen pals!!!

A resource I plan referring to is …

Allen, K., & Cameron, E. (2008). Interning in an Alternative School. Knowledge Quest, 37(1), 50-57.

Great Resources of the Use of SMARTBOARDS in the Early Childhood Classroom:

-Ghttp://guest.portaportal.com/smartboardfun

http://www.canadianteachermagazine.com/ctm_technology/mar09_classroom_comes_alive.shtml

Are you involved in any communities in the education field … which ones?  What effect does it have on your performance as a teacher?