Celebrating National Online Learning Day
Today, September 15th, 2017, is National Online Learning Day, which aims to showcase how students – and adults – of all ages are thriving with the ability to learn online. Online learning is now ubiquitous; in fact, I am guessing that you, reading this post at this very moment, have accessed online resources in the past day or two to learn something new. Never before has a world of information been quite literally at our fingertips.
On the one hand this opens an exciting array of new learning opportunities for students. On the other hand are the challenges associated with unlimited access to information: how to separate fact from fiction; how to utilize resources in a way that generates real understanding; how to be an active participant in learning as opposed to a passive consumer. Thankfully, as we get smarter about online learning and its potential, these concerns are starting to be addressed, and solved, in powerful ways.
Online learning in 2017 comes in an almost unlimited variety. From short video segments that explain a concept or topic, to online peer-reviewed journals, to college classes available to anyone, anywhere, to interactive presentations complete with student discussion and immediate feedback – technology is giving us the means to communicate and learn at our own pace and at our own level, where we get to take ownership of our own learning.
But the question still remains: how does online learning impact students in K-12, or even younger? How can we best utilize technology – smart phones, computers, tablets, video conferencing, etc. – so that it improves student learning and outcomes? So that it connects work in the classroom to the wider world and gives students a voice?
At the Tiger Woods Foundation, we believe that the latest technology is not the be-all and end-all. It is merely another tool for teachers and students and, provided the necessary training and support, a powerful means of making learning relevant, creative and authentic. Technology can help turn students from passive consumers of information (think traditional methods of learning: textbook, notes and a lecture) to active creators: solving problems and making connections.
To this end, earlier this year the Tiger Woods Foundation launched TGR EDU: Explore, an online learning platform for both teachers and students to help them on their journey to discover their passions, introduce and reinforce concepts in both STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and college access in innovative ways, and equip students with the skills necessary to not just fill, but to create the jobs of tomorrow.
On October 31st, TGR EDU: Explore will debut its first Virtual Field Trip, titled Career Connections, a behind-the-scenes look at both the TGR Learning Lab in Anaheim, Calif., and the headquarters of Facebook in Menlo Park, Calif. This Virtual Field Trip will demonstrate how new approaches to teaching and learning can connect students from across the country to exciting careers at a place like Facebook.
Additionally, a new self-paced student module, titled Financial Pur$uit, will also debut on October 31st. This 40-minute digital experience, meant to convey a game-like feel (and is a compliment to the College Blueprint module currently available on the platform), will walk high school students through the steps of accessing, applying and receiving financial aid to help pay for college.
Join us at TGR EDU: Explore today as we celebrate National #OnlineLearningDay!
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