Ellen Laird’s article “I’m Your Teacher Not Your Internet Service Provider” is a comparison between online and physical classes. In the article, Laird expresses her perspective on teaching online classes. She explains the challenges faced by students, such as lack of motivation. Online classes allow students the freedom to select modules, to first complete areas they are comfortable with. This is totally different from physical classes, where the teacher selects what to teach.
In the article I’m Your Teacher Not Your Internet Service Provider, Ellen Laird explains how respect for the teacher is affected. She gives an example of receiving an email from a student. “I know you are at your father’s funeral right now, but I just wondered if you got my paper.” According to her, this is a high level of lack of respect to her and the family.
Laird’s tone in the article is sarcastic. She says the syllabus is not a restaurant menu, referring to how students select modules. She indicates her distress with teaching online classes saying, “The honeymoon is over. My romance with distance learning is losing its spark.”
When teaching online classes, it is not possible to get direct feedback from students. It is slow to ask and get answers to questions via email. She also cites problems on the side of the students such as technology, and internet connection. This poses a problem because technological failure has a direct effect on the running of the class.
According to the article, it is correct to say that she feels the physical classes are more interactive, and therefore more effective. She feels that online classes allow students a lot of freedom to select assignments, which she sarcastically compares to a restaurant menu.
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