3 Takeaways from ESLTECH 2011

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In just seven weeks, ESLTECH 2011 has provided me with a newfound love for online learning and the tools I need to succeed. I would highly recommend this course to other students as online learning becomes increasingly available. From this course, I learned a variety of topics and practically applied my knowledge with assignments and projects. To break down my experience in this class, I categorized this course into three takeaways that I will keep with me for the duration of my education and life.

1. Online Learning is a valuable education medium

While I have taken online classes before, I never assessed the value that this education medium has to offer and how it truly compares to traditional, in-person learning. After taking ESLTECH 2011, I have gained a new understanding and appreciation for the online learning environment. It provides numerous benefits that help a diverse group of people. It offers flexibility to those also working a full-time job to simultaneously receive an education. It also offers accessible education to people with disabilities where in-person learning presents far too many challenges. From my personal perspective, I find value in scheduling online learning around my current schedule and learning at times that I thrive at the most.

2. Being an e-Learner requires self-motivation and accountability

Another key takeaway from ESLTECH 2011 is that being an e-Learner requires self-motivation and accountability. It can require self-discipline to complete work on your own and not have in-person interactions that hold you accountable. However, once you find your rhythm in an online environment you can reach your full potential as a student who is organized and manages their time effectively.

3. The Internet provides ample tools to enhance our learning experience – we just have to seek those tools out!

Throughout my time in this course, I was introduced to a number of tools that can help in my everyday life whether that is school, work, or special interests. Trello was a personal favorite for me at managing my daily tasks. It was extremely user-friendly and makes managing tasks easy. My second favorite was Lynda. After this class, I explored all the videos and supplements it had to offer that could educate me on topics I’m going over in class or topics that I want to learn more on my own. Overall, ESLTECH 2011 taught me how many useful tools are available to us in the online world. It’s our job as e-Learners to discover these tools and utilize them to their full advantage.

The Importance of Environment Management in Online Learning

What is Environment Management?

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Environment Management is the management of one’s working environment in order to increase productivity and efficiency. By managing your surroundings, you can utilize your time far better by limiting distractions and optimizing your comfort in a space.

Limitations of Studying At Home

For most people, studying or working gets done at their home. It has its benefits like 24/7 accessibility and no time is wasted traveling like it would be if you went to a library. However, working at home may not be the ideal environment for students to thrive in. Typically, our homes are filled with distractions like roommates, television, and possibly poor internet connection. It may make it difficult to make the most of your time and stay productive.

Benefits of Finding the Right Environment

By analyzing what environments you work best in, you can create a working space that allows you to be the most productive version of yourself. It’s important to look into different factors of working space such as Internet connection, available space, comfort, and household patterns of use.

Internet connection is definitely a crucial component for e-Learners. If the connectivity at your home is poor or buffers, consider switching to a more reliable location like a cafe or library.

In terms of available space, it’s imperative to give yourself enough space to work. Working on your bed might be comfy, but it may not provide the space you need to write or place to set your materials.

Comfort is another important factor in environment management. However, too much comfort can decrease your motivation. Try to find a place where you are comfortable with your surroundings. For example, if your bedroom is too warm, it may be better to switch to a cooler room. Or, if the seat you are sitting in doesn’t offer good support for your back, you should find a chair that amply gives you the comfort you need to complete your work.

Lastly, analyzing household patterns of use can help you judge if an environment is right for you. Working at the kitchen table may offer good space to lay out your materials, but this may cause conflict with roommates who also need to use this space. It’s important to use spaces like the kitchen during designated times that work with others’ schedules. This way you work in the best interest of yourself and others.

Globokar, J. L. (2010). 3 Getting Organized. In Introduction to Online Learning: A Guide for Students. (pp. 29-44). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc


Overcoming the Challenges of Online Learning

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Online learning is an effective medium for education that leverages flexibility in scheduling and allows students to manage their time. However, the adjustment to online learning is not easy and it can present many challenges for students as they become e-Learners.

Here are some challenges of online learning as detailed by Strayer University:

  • Requires strong time management skills and self-motivation
  • Learning curve for the less technically savvy
  • Internet and technology-dependent — susceptible to network connections, browser compatibility issues, etc.
  • Minimal in-person contact with professors and classmates
  • responses to questions are not always immediate
  • Less social interaction outside of class

This video from Kansas State University goes over the personal experiences and challenges e-Learners faced during their education. Challenges discussed include: lack of time, personal fear, collaborative effort, technology skills, and procrastination.

Before you embark on your online learning journey, it’s important to be cognizant of the challenges you may face during the duration of your studies. By preparing yourself for potential challenges, you can be ready to counter these challenges and set yourself up for success. While everyone is different, we can gain a lot by hearing personal accounts from others as seen in the Kansas State University video. We can assess our own strengths and weaknesses to devise a plan before classes start on how you will tackle the material and succeed.