Teaching Online – Home Schooling Book Review

If you are considering teaching online, or if you are a homeschooling parent and would like to have your kids learn online while at home then maybe you need to do a little bit of research. Maybe you need to consider what’s out there, and the various hybrid courses and technology issues which surround the world of Internet courses and online teaching.

The other day, there was a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that discussed why there never needed to be any poor weather days that prevented school. If the inclement weather was so bad that the school buses couldn’t run, or the blizzard made it impossible to get to school, then each student could learn at home on their own computer. The article made some compelling arguments, and I found similar points of contention in a book on the subject.

In fact, I’d like to go out of my way right now to recommend this book to you, and it is a book that I do own of my personal library. The name of this book is; “Teaching Online – A Practical Guide” (College Teaching Series – Second Edition) by Susan Ho and Steve Rossen, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA, (2004), 339 pages, ISBN: 0-618-29848-7.

There is a great overview of online teaching and what it’s about, and although it is written from the perspective of the institutional educator, it surely helps parents understand what they are dealing with when they choose which courses, online syllabuses, and information they wish their children to read and learn. Teaching in an online classroom is not easy, but those that have the skill and talent to pull it off, are the most desired and sought after instructors.

Why not pick up a copy of this book so you can familiarize yourself with low-tech and high-tech solutions used in Internet education. You can also find discussion forums where you can interact with teachers, and how they use whiteboards, chatting features, and instant messaging to make the online classroom feel at home. Why not learn what the teachers go through when they put together their training programs, and how they prepare themselves for their students.

It seems to me as a parent I want to know how the online teaching system works, what type of software and hardware works the best, and how the teachers are going to interact with my kids. You need to know these things up front, it’s very important, and that’s why a recommend this book to you. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Home Schooling and Learning Communities – A Book Review

Home schooling has always been popular, and yet for a brief period in our history we didn’t hear a lot about it, today, all that has changed, as home schooling is definitely back in vogue. The No Child Left Behind Act instituted under the Bush Administration with the help of the former Senator Edward Kennedy was brought forth out of frustration, as kids were actually graduating High School, but could not read or write. This of course was unacceptable, and something had to be done.

Nevertheless, the challenges and problems are systemic in nature, and so many parents want no part of our public school system; some say it’s a dangerous place for kids due to gangs, drugs, violence, others say it’s a giant babysitting event at the tax payer’s expense. No matter where you stand you also realize that we are not meeting our educational challenges in this great nation. Perhaps, it’s for this reason that you are looking for alternatives, something that works.

Well then, I was recommended a very good book to read a few years back, and I read the whole thing and was intrigued at what I learned, so much so that I’ve recommended it to everyone I’ve met thinking on the issue of education. I even placed it online in the reading room of our Internet type think tank. The name of the book is;

“Creating Learning Communities,” by Ron Miller and William N. Ellis, published by CCL-LLC and the Coalition for Self Learning Communities, eBook Digital Edition, (2000).

The book talks about not only schools as learning communities, but also addresses the community as a place of on-going learning, and how groups of folks can get together and learn, mentor, educate and drive knowledge, wisdom, and valuable information. This is a living book, with research on learning communities and new chapters being added online.

The philosophy is straight forward, so too is the approach it takes. Learning should be a lifetime endeavor, it’s not something you finish and get a diploma for, and this book is filled with resources and information, places to go to help you whether you are home schooling, or want to learn how to better teach. I’d recommend it to any and all home schooling parents and community advisors, also to educators to expand their own horizons.

Section III is all about the information age, and how computers, the Internet, and other technology devices make all this possible, and shine forward into the future. Please consider reading this book at your first possible convenience. I highly recommend it.

Reference: http://www.creatinglearningcommunities.org/download/download.htm