Well first I want to thank Donna for forwarding the digest to me...I was not
receiving all the posts. I changed my settings to entire digest today.
Hopefully that works!
Thank you so much for the feedback, many of you have pointed out things I
had not thought about. I guess I was not looking at this as 'exploitation'
of my time/effort, but I do see this side of it now. I agree I should
discuss this with the 'powers that be' regarding my compensation. I am
going to see if this online course development may count for something in
regards to my graduate degree but this alone is not enough considering the
time and effort it will take. One of the reasons this course has really
gotten the attention in my school is because our district did layoff several
teachers last year. Our district passed a referendum which saved my job
with several others. But if it had not passed, I KNOW that my contract
would have been reduced. I was receiving cues from my administrator that
had me really concerned. For example, he was concerned about my numbers.
One reason my numbers were low was because of schedule changes the day
before school started. This completely 'smashed' my enrollment. It was not
a lack of interest but management/scheduling errors, but that is a whole
other topic. I thought it was very unprofessional the way I was made to
feel I "needed" to do something more to keep my job. The bottom line is my
job was not considered as important as the core content areas. We all know
how that game is played out in many low budget districts. So I suggested an
online course to benefit students, myself, and the district. After reading
many of your suggestions, I am considering that it would be more beneficial
for me to pay for the training myself, this way I can keep full rights to
what I have created. There is another teacher from a surrounding district
who also will be partaking in this online course development. I have not
spoke to him yet but now I think I should to see what his district is
offering to him as well. I also should speak to my union rep as well. I
guess I really have a lot to consider before jumping in full force.
The suggestions regarding blogs, Blackboard, discussions, live chats, and
communicating around the world is exactly my aim. Yes, there is the
possibility my job could be eliminated because of this type of course work.
But I believe if a district is strong in their belief about the quality of
education that well rounds students with experiences from all content areas
they see the value of online courses equal to the value of face to face
contact that is also required in the arts. If my district/community does
not believe in this, well it is no district I want to be working in. I
strongly believe embracing technology of this nature will improve the
quality of Art Education not hinder it. Students who have the opportunity
to share their experiences with others via the Internet also have the
opportunity to create a more tolerable attitude in today's world that is
becoming more and more connected through technology. I see my rural 'farm
kids' who most likely will never travel further than 60 miles of their home.
This type of experience is just what these kids need. I only hope that I
can work out some agreement with my district/TRITON that will make this
possible in my school.
I will keep you posted and most likely will be contacting some of you again
once I am back to work (4days) where I can explore this topic more.