I started the Master’s of Distance Education (MDE) program at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) for two reasons:
- I want to improve the distance education program for my K-8 STEAM education program, Pongos Learning Lab.
- I always wanted a master’s degree.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted me to move classes for Pongos Learning Lab online. I have an extensive technology background, thanks to a long career as a web developer, and had no problem building a website, installing a learning management system (LMS), recording/editing the videos, and implementing all of the other technical elements of an e-learning program. That technical knowledge only got me so far before I realized that I had a nice-looking program that did not meet the needs of my students, teachers, and other stakeholders.
My first class, Foundations of Distance Education & E-learning (OMDE 601), has given me a glimpse into the world of distance education. Through the reading, assignments, and discussion, I have learned about learning theories, systems thinking, SWOT analysis, and much more. The e-learning project helped me step back and get a big-picture look at my distance education program, which I hope to continue to refine through future courses.