Distributed Learning: Learning From a Distance

Distributed learning, otherwise known as distance learning is for learning when being present is not an option. It’s a form of multi-access learning that creates a more flexible learning environment to suit the needs of more students. For example, students with anxiety and health issues, or those living in rural areas may be unable to attend classes face to face. If the teacher has a closed modality in their classroom it becomes harder to keep up with class work.

Here’s telepresence robot, a great alternative for learning at a distance. Not only can the student video in but also move around and communicate with his surroundings.

Permission obtained from patron(s) in photo

Personally, I never experienced distributed learning until coming to UVIC. In my entire time from kindergarten to grade 12 there was never the opportunity to participate in the learning environment unless I was present. This was a closed system where everything that happened was within the walls of the school. It all changed when I came to university. A new way of connected learning was established for me to learn through. Platforms like Coursespaces allowed for a connection between class and home. I could receive assignments, complete, and submit them anywhere in the world as long as I had internet access. Another way this platform establishes class learning abroad is through blog posts. They allow for an online class discussion at a distance. I think distributed learning is ideal in this new age of technology. Every student has access to some form of technology and can utilize it beyond the walls of the class. It makes it possible to conference in to important lectures if away or sick, or unable to attend for any reason. It expands the possibilities of learning and allows for so much more flexibility to reach students that were never able to be reached before. When I was going through school teaching was classroom based. Even if resources were used online they did not translate into the world outside of the classroom. Everything was done face to face and it was hard to miss school for any reason. I think if teachers decided to strictly use face to face modality in the classroom and don’t post anything online, it makes it hard to access resources on what’s been missed. This modality is less inclusive and flexible and, as a result, some students would be unable to complete the requirements.

Distributed learning increases numbers in schools, while also meeting the needs of students. I think with the technological shift we are seeing in society it only makes sense to integrate it into the classroom. This shift in modality reaches more students and creates more avenues for success in a variety of situations that will continue to happen to students in the school system. Now place-based limitations are no longer a barrier, whether family obligations, travel, health issues, or other reasons. Students can receive the flexibility they require to receive a good education.

Week 7: Sketch Notes, Google Classroom, and Twine

Sketch notes are ideas not art. It consists of visual notes, handwriting, drawings, and visual elements such as arrows. It is similar to a mind map. Sketch noting is good to use because it connects meaning to words which helps recall information later. A study in Waterloo showed that participants that merely copied down word for word notes had a recall of 30% whereas participants that summarized information through shorthanded words and drawings had a recall of 70%. This is because writing is not as fast as typing and forces the participant to summarize which takes more effort to understand. Sketch notes engage the whole mind, verbal and visual! It is a way to take notes in a fun, fulfilling way that allows for creativity. It taps into the visual language and helps students concentration.

The key to sketch notes is to do whatever makes sense personally. This includes the images and verbal cues needed, the fonts, and the pattern in which all the information is organized into.

We also used Google Classrooms. It was my first time using this resource and I found it to be incredibly helpful. I can only think of the possibilities this platform has for classrooms in the future because of the increasing use with technology in schools. It’s an efficient way to share slides, documents, assignments for specific topics within an entire class.

The last platform we worked with this week was Twine. This is an amazing platform that can be used in multiple capacities. It is ideal for creating choose your own adventure stories, or for helping someone choose a product that best suits them. For example, to narrow down specifics of what is desired in a laptop, someone could follow the path to the one that suits their needs best. Students could also use it for other creative outlets such as organizing a DnD campaign. Some key concepts to remember when working with Twine is that the project is stored with cookies. This means that if someone wipes the cookies on a computer all work will be lost. It is important to export the project to a hard drive, like google drive, or email it. Another thing is that it works well with firefox and chrome but not with safari or internet explorer.