Monday, February 8, 2010

Howard & Donald come to BU (not Stern or Duck)

Howard Griffith & Donald Girourard came to our class on Feb. 1. I remembered to write my comments about these guys. What I enjoyed about their presentation was the activities that they gave us. For one activity we were asked to brainstorm about what sort of people can take Distant Education. Among some of our lists, some groups responded that students who dropped out, and/or got expelled, pregnant or incarcerated would be potential candidates.
I was surprised to find out that the province does provide distant education in 3 forms and for free (I think). The first was I.S.O, (Independent Study Optional) where the student works at their own pace but has 12 months to complete the course. The second was T.M.O., which stands for Teacher Mediated Option, where the student phones, (yes phones) an instructor and asks questions or support for the material. The third option is W.B.C., and this stands for Web-Based Course option. Learning must take place online through a virtual classroom.
In Sherry Peden's class, "Teaching Aboriginal Studies", this woman from the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Center (MFNERC) gave a presentation about the services that they provide and she mentioned that they are developing virtual classrooms for distant education delivery. I thought that this was a neat idea. As an educator, with this knowledge, I can assist some students in this path or tell them about it if they drop-out or whatever their circumstance. It was a good presentation and useful to learn about.


  1. first year teachers that get a job in rural northern Manitoba. These web based classes offer alot of resources and ideas.

    I think that having these distant education classes will also be beneficial in small communities because of the smaller enrollment for some classes. So students will have more options.

  2. I agree that distant ed is important in the northern communities. These oppotunities allow students in the smaller communities to access courses thay may not have access to courses in their communities. I also would like to see new teachers using these distant courses as resources for their classroom.