Lesson Seven: Online Instruction Basics and

                    Introduction to the key issues surrounding online instruction

Asking the hard questions on the quality of traditional and online education

                A tour of cyberschools and online courses

                Free courses on creating online courses

Convenient online professional development courses for busy teachers

        Key considerations in planning an online class

Lesson Seven Required Assignments:

1. Send via email to your instructor a two-page accounting of
    your explorations of a minimum of three K12 online courses
    from the course directories given in the lesson. Include a
    review of the two specified courses for teachers on how to
    create and teach an online class, 1. Mentoring Online and
    2. Designing K12 Internet Instruction.

    Include a sampling of the most significant URLS you visited,
    in your judgment, other than those specified in the lesson
    and share your views on the appropriate, and/or
    inappropriate, use of online classes.

Lesson Goals

To identify the main issues related to online classes VS traditional classroom classes.

To identify the ease and availability of the new free online class authoring tools.

To review sample online courses to establish a sense of what "passes" for a good online class.

To identify the planning issues behind preparing to create your own online class.

A. The most important issue surrounding online learning is "What's best for our students?"

In the "Millennium"  article you read for lesson one,  a number of considerations are given for designing an online course. It is important to realize that online education is very new, and refers to a plethora of different methods and technologies. We're limited only by our imaginations as to how we can use the increasingly powerful array of tools at our fingertips. As teachers, we need to learn to trust our own judgement....when our opinions are based on first-hand, hands-on knowledge of these tools. For this lesson you are asked to critically review two courses on designing online courses, and to review at least three actual K12 online courses.

Read the article "Alaskan Professional Development; Lone Eagles Learn to Teach from Any Beach" http://lone-eagles.com/articles/eagle.htm   (30 minutes)

B. Go to the Reach for the Sky courses at    http://lone-eagles.com/courses/rfts/ and select the course "Online Mentoring " Spend at least half an hour reviewing the suggestions of this course.
(30 minutes)

The recommended next course to follow "Making the Best Use of Internet for K-12 Instruction" is "Designing K-12 Internet Instruction" and all lessons are reviewable at http://lone-eagles.com/currmain1.htm . Spend at least half an hour reviewing the lessons for this course. (30 minutes)

C. (One hour)

Review the listings of K12 online course directories (from page 141 in your handbook) and online at http://lone-eagles.com/courses.htm   and review at least three courses. Email your reviews to your instructor.

Here's the listing for many more online courses from the end of the Mentors Resources  at http://lone-eagles.com/mentor.htm  which is also in your handbook (page 61).

Lone Eagle Consulting's Best Online Learning Resource Listings

Adult Literacy Web Tour

Free Learning and Other Freebies Web Tour

Online Courses and Learning Pathways

K-12 Online Courses

Internet Training Resources

Teachers' Tools Web Tour

Building Learning Communities

Ecommerce Start-up Training Resources

World Class K-12 Web-based Resources
A particularly unique handout with major reports on E-learning,
unique professional development resources and *many K12 resources.
Including a teacher's Guide to International Collaboration.

For the insatiable appetite see  http://lone-eagles.com/tonofK12stuff.htm  

D. (30 minutes)

Review the listings of online professional development opportunities in your handbook on page 87 and online at http://lone-eagles.com/self.htm   You'll find additional sources for learning how to create online courses, as well as a rich listing of distance learning clearinghouses and virtual universities.

Here are three of the more popular course-authoring services to explore within the time allowed for this lesson; Elluminate, Moodle, and Ecollege. Note the similarities in the tools provided.

1. Elluminate www.elluminate.com A very popular online course platform.
    Select the free DEMO and follow the instructions.
. Review the tools they offer.

2. The Moodle homesite is www.moodle.org with many great resources.
    This open source platform is free and many educators already prefer it to Blackboard
    due to its elegantly simple functionality.

3. OPTIONAL - Ecollege   http://www.ecollege.com
    Explore their general options noting they offer you a free trial where
    you can use all their tools to create an online course - for a limited time.

   Review their full range of tools via their demonstration "Ecollege" class at

4. At www.cnx.org is a site offering free online course authoring
         with a science and math emphasis.  Check it out!

E. Check out the free web collaborative and curriculum tools
           at: http://lone-eagles.com/teacherstools.htm   http://lone-eagles.com/collab.htm and
           http://lone-eagles.com/webdev.htm  (30 minutes)

F.   Review the three key reports on online learning at the top of:     
World Class K-12 Web-based Resources

(30 minutes)

Lesson Feedback: Optional, but much appreciated.

You're invited to privately email your instructor:

       1. What areas, if any, did you have trouble with during this lesson?

       2. What questions remain now that you've finished this lesson?

       3. Approximately how much time did you devote to this lesson?

       4. What improvements would you like to suggest?