The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) supports and encourages the use of e-learning experiences for preK–16 science students, as well as for science educators engaging in professional learning in the traditional, informal, or online learning environment. NSTA defines e-learning as the effective learning process created by combining digitally delivered content with learning support and services (Waller 2001). E-learning can and should significantly enhance science teaching and learning and may be used in a blended and coherent fashion to extend onsite learning experiences.
NSTA does not limit the definition of e-learning solely to distance-based online courses and instruction where the learner and instructor are separated by place and time, but considers the following experiences to be within the scope of e-learning: traditional classroom instruction that incorporates the planned and effective use of collaborative and/or interactive digital tools and resources, blended learning experiences that incorporate various combinations of technology-mediated and traditional classroom instruction, and distance delivered courses or programs, as well as the rich collaboration and discourse enabled through online learning networks and communities.
E-learning is an increasingly prevalent, viable, and fully recognized method for teaching and learning science (Dede, Brown-L’Bahy, Ketelhut, and Whitehouse 2004). NSTA supports e-learning as a promising way to
For these reasons, NSTA supports e-learning as a component of everyone’s experience in learning science in the 21st century.
NSTA considers the following elements key to effective, high-quality e-learning experiences for teachers and students. E-learning experiences should
NSTA supports e-learning as an important component of teacher preparation and teacher professional learning.
When designed properly, online courses, programs, and professional learning networks and communities for science educators have the ability to provide high-quality opportunities for them to share and engage with like-minded colleagues through discourse as they learn content and pedagogy. NSTA makes the following declarations regarding e-learning as a component of teacher preparation and professional learning:
NSTA supports e-learning for blended instructional approaches for K–16 students.
Instructional technology accessibility and applications in the traditional classroom, as well as virtual schools and courses, are emerging as viable and effective models for teaching important science content and for meeting diverse student needs. E-learning offers expanded instructional options for science educators when appropriate for the learning goals and the learners. NSTA makes the following declarations regarding e-learning for blended instructional approaches for K–16 students:
—Adopted by the NSTA Board of Directors, September 2008
Revised, July 2016
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