TheHomeSchool.  Hi.  Ruth Virginia Barton here.   Press Play            for some beautiful sounds* as you read.  This ePortfolio represents my final projects for E-learning for Educators,                   Assessments, Instructional Design, Collaborative Communities, and the eLearning Practicum, all part of the E-learning and Online Teaching graduate certificate advised by the great Dennis O'Connor at the beautiful University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW's polytechnic university).  You will find my project for E-learning for Educators, taught by the intrepid Sarah Turansky and course intern Paul Mugan, by clicking ePortfolio in the menu above; Assessment in E-learning, with the astounding James L. Erbe as professor, under Assess, both above and in ePortfolio; Instructional Design for E-Learning, taught by the powerful Dr. Susan Manning, under Design; and Collaborative Classrooms, taught by the Amazing Dr. Kay Lehmann, with Rebecca Brink as course intern, under Collaborate.  

 

The synergistic combination of Jim Erbe's consistent and supportive feedback (so essential to online learning) in my second class, the creativity necessary to complete these online assignments, the ever-so-useful Web 2.0** and other assessment tools, as well as my own assimilation of this beautiful, still-rather-new-although-burgeoning field of Educational Technology (ET!), has inspired me to create a new online school for emotional healing called  TheHomeSchool (THS).  This blended learning program (a work in progress) is a Safe Haven School supporting children and adults recovering from trauma using techniques of social and emotional healing, including an online support group called The Safety Net and THS's student-centered and creative academic curriculum called the Compassionate Curriculum.  The Home School and its Compassionate Curriculum is an idea whose fulfillment is my lifelong dream; educational technology (using online tools to teach) is my heretofore unknown lifelong dream whose fulfillment has come true.

 

A metaphysical component infuses the creative process anchoring all my online courses and their final projects, which make up the ePortfolio.  I started creating my ePortfolio in E-learning for Educators where I strengthened my online learning resolve.  I was initiated into the joyous and otherwise experiences of online learning, from the lonely pits to the creative heights, and emerged with my own online Voice.  I used the final project of Assessment to create fictitious students at The Home School, which believes in evaluation through student engagement and the unexpectedly wonderful and refreshing world of project-based authentic assessment.*  Here I learned to include Spirit as my major tech teacher!  I decided to create my final project for Instructional Design as a continuation and further manifestation of TheHomeSchool.  It included a mini-course I designed called Emotional Healing Within a Safe Online Community.  I learned in this class that anchoring my learning by embedding it in Web tools made everything so much more exciting!   And I learned after  this class how embracing every experience -- including driving and online frustration! -- leads me further on my Path.  In Collaborative Communities the magical combination of reflection and online work and interactive collaboration with other students, facilitators, and content produced further fuel for eLearning and my HomeSchool fires.  I also learned how to begin thinking like a teacher.  Now I come full circle and proceed as a course intern -- an actual online instructor! -- with the incomparable Maggie Rouman as my mentor teacher in E-learning for Educators; and the truly great Dennis O'Connor, who as courageous leader of our Practicum class I finally get to be my real teacher, about which I'm so excited.   ~ Ruth Virginia Barton

 

*Keonig, M. Ocean Waves. License Attribution 3.0. Sound retrieved 8/24/15 from http://soundbible.com/1935-Ocean-Waves.html.

**Click on "Web 2.0" and "authentic assessment" above to see what they are....  Close new page to return to site Page, or click Back to Top.