My Online Graduate Program: Semester 1

I am in my second semester at George Washington University.  I am studying to get my Masters of Education, Technology and Leadership. The program is great and the staff is really helpful to online students. This is a really perfect fit for me and where I want to go in the future.

 Honestly, I couldn’t wait to get started again in the program. I learned a lot in just one semester about technology, where we are headed, where we are, what the struggles are as organizations, institutions and more. I have also expanded my little bit of IT knowledge (little bit, meaning I know the difference between a hub and a switch. My husband is proud.).

Things I like

  • I get the whole week to do school, and at my leisure and when my schedule permits it – I can do school work during lunch breaks, after dinner, early Saturday morning, waiting at the airport. I really like this. A lot. My friend is in an MBA program at a local school, andshe has to drive to school three times a week (30 mins away from her each way) to sit and hear someone blab about whatever and then give you assignments they could have easily just sent via email. Hearing her horror stories of wasted time reminds me why I like GW.
  • The school week starts on Wednesday and ends Tuesday. This provides the whole weekend to work on projects. This worked really well. And I got used to the rhythm of the schedule. Plus I didn’t feel like I had to save Sunday and catch up on everything..
  • The diversity and background of students. Loved getting to know the different students from all over the world and in all types of walks of life. This was a diversity that a local university can usually not provide. Also being online community you have to connect alot more than in a normal class.
  • Collaborating in Real Time. Using the collaboration tools (see GoogleDocs Post)
  • Researching.  Being able to research and having it mean something. I spent time reading and researching things that I was actually interested (unlike undergrad) and I learned a lot about those things. (like Enterprise Collaboration, Social Media for education, and iPads in the classroom). I have some new topics for this semester, and am excited about those.

Things I dislike:

  • Missing Social Media Aspects. The web system doesn’t notify me when someone replies to a comment I have made. Maybe I am just accustomed to everything else I use that does it – So you have to log in, remember which thread you responded on and check to see if anyone read it. Also there aren’t any “liking” features. Since we get graded on participation, sometimes I just respond – “I like what you had to say.” or ” I agree”. This seems a silly post and I wish I should just like it.
  • Group Projects – just as in a real class, you have group projects. Sometimes they work great, and sometimes you end up on the phone scrambling around at the last second because someone isn’t pulling their weight.
  • Sometimes the content is outdated. This doesn’t just happen with online courses. But tonight I watched a video from 2002. That’s 9 years ago. This video has a note with an update  saying they don’t even use the technology any more. It wouldn’t be that hard for the profs to mix up and find fresh content.
  • Still having to go through power point slides. DEATH

Anyways, I am really excited for this next semester. I am taking Computers in Education and Human Development and a Research Class. I will keep you posted on what I learn this semester…