Evidence of Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Summer Semester, 2005

EDCI 790f - Internship in Online Teaching  

EDIT 797f - Web-Site Design and Management

The teachers who made up the Virtual High School project built a school. It has no walls. It takes up no space on the surface of the planet. It consists of people who congregate in cyberspace. They have placed the new containers of knowledge, known as web pages, on the computers of George Mason University. The students are not bound by time and place. Whatever conditions may exist to bring a student to the Virtual High School, the student is empowered to access the knowledge at a time of their own choosing. With the technical and content-related guidance of the teachers, acting in the role of the mentor, students will guide themselves through the subject fields that make up traditional high school education.

Students in the Virtual High School will not have to face the social challenges of attending regular school. But they will have to find the time, discipline, and self-control that it takes to actually learn on a broad scale. They will be negotiating with their mentors to establish parameters for success. Their mentors may have to confront them in a positive sense to keep them on track, to help them master the information and the skills that high school students need to survive in the world.

The teachers who built the virtual high school have also grown as students and as teachers. They have gained a body of knowledge  on what it means to teach in the 21st century. Not all of us are destined to be on-line mentors. But we have new skills that relate to computer and Internet technology. We have gained perspectives on how to become more effective teachers in our traditional classrooms because we are taking back to those classrooms revolutionary skills that will revitalize and energize our style of teaching. It will be more adaptive and aligned with the learning styles of students who are growing up in the digital age. Communicating via the Internet, sharing video, images, and text, interacting via email, chat, and bulleting board --  these are all new tools for the dissemination of knowledge at the disposal of the modern teacher. As technology changes, so will our educational tool kit. And the Virtual High School will incorporate those new technologies if they are efficient and effective in helping students grow into productive adults.

Resource: Teaching in the Digital Age

History Matters: A US Survey Course on the web