The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

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Online learning presents dichotomy

A reflection on web-based academia
The+interface+that+greets+students+in+the+GOA+program.
John Miller
The interface that greets students in the GOA program.

Currently, there are 22 Blake students enrolled in 17 Global Online Academy classes, where they work with students from all around the world.

I have taken Big History, a GOA class that was first offered in the 2014-2015 school year.

During my time taking this class I worked with people from the Republic of Jordan and the state of Ohio.

The two things that I found most important in online courses are mastering online communication – both emails and Skype calls-and not procrastinating, as time zones can create issues.

Talking on Skype is not like any face to face conversation and it is much more challenging when you are  not only talking to a classmate, but also a stranger.

In Big History, many emails were sent that were not opened until the next day due to difference in time zones, so it was important to stay on task and make time count, because your classmates may be going to bed in the next hour.

Beth Calderone, the only teacher of freshman Big History course recognizes the challenges in online learning, but she also understands the important skills and lessons it teaches: “The nature of an online course is that once a term starts, you are on until it ends,” says Calderone.

I experienced a challenge of online learning first hand when I had an assignment due on a Saturday night. Having an assignment due on a Saturday night would normally be “taboo,” says Calderone, but when three different schools are coordinating assignments this can and will happen.

“I enjoyed the independence, where you could work from home, school or wherever and still get your assignments in on time,” says Julia Kaiser ‘18.      

Online learning is something that will be incorporated into our life more and more, so getting accustomed to it now is imperative.

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About the Contributor
John Miller
John Miller, Editor Emeritus
John has been a Spectrum Editor since the spring semester of his sophomore year. He is a proud member of the great class of 2016. John does not actually know how he ended up working at Spectrum, Maxine Whitely (Editor-in-Chief) randomly started talking at him and he somehow found himself to be editing a News page with the lovely Alexis Reaves. John was talked into becoming Spectrum's Business Manager and his only current hobby consists of making the paper money. Other tasks that John amuses himself with: Soccer, Lacrosse, Model UN, Robotics, reading, playing video games and simply hanging out with friends.

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