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ERIC Number: EJ1008859
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1527-1803
Old Flames and New Beacons: The Luminosity of Online Learning
McNulty, Ray
Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers (J3), v88 n1 p40-43 Jan 2013
A few years ago, the author saw a video of a pop concert. It looked just like concerts of his youth: a well-lit stage amid a darkened crowd flecked with small wavering lights. He laughed when he realized, however, that the swaying glow was coming not from cigarette lighters but from LCD screens. This juxtaposition of old flames and new beacons reminds him of distance learning. Once the realm of correspondence schools, whose matchbook cover advertisements promised the chance to learn from home, distance learning has evolved into myriad interactive opportunities that cater to the spectrum of learners' needs. Striking a match on the correspondence school model, technology has ignited a virtual wildfire of prospects for education. Emerging teaching models combine the best of classroom methods with the litheness of online learning to offer more pathways to learning for more students. Three particularly strong new models of this ilk are gaining popularity in American education: (1) flipped classroom; (2) blended classroom; and (3) supported distance learning. Technology-infused, these learning models suit all types of curricula, including career and technical education (CTE), which leads the way in applied learning by keeping current with technological advances across disciplines. They also echo CTE's core goal of providing learners with relevant skills and knowledge to prepare them for successful careers. One of the most exciting advantages these dynamic models have for teachers is the flexibility to explore "next practices," innovative and sometimes as-yet untested ideas that may (or may not) evolve into best practices. Next practices speak to the ideals of what education can accomplish, and these teaching models support the creativity educators need to think ahead to those ideals. In fact, it's a bit like switching from cigarette lighters to LCD screens at a concert. The old flame was good in its time, but technology offers a new beacon.
Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). 1410 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 800-826-9972; Tel: 703-683-3111; Fax: 703-683-7424; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A