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Abstract

According to the popular press and many policy pundits, online learning represents the next educational leap forward. Extraordinary claims have been made in the name of e-learning, including the assurance of educational equity, personalized learning for all, and significant cost savings for students — to name just a few. At the same time however, few policymakers are asking substantive questions about the educational nature of online learning environments. How are the classes organized, and what learning theories shape the design of these digital environments? What skills are needed to teach online and how are instructors prepared to teach in these new environments?

Author Biography

Ellen B. Meier is director of the Center for Technology and School Change and associate professor of practice for computing and education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Meier’s research is focused on the use of technology to create engaging learning environments for all students. She oversees the Technology Specialist Certification program at Teachers College and cochairs New York State’s Technology Policy and Practice Council, which advises the Board of Regents on technology issues.

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