WeBelong School.  Hi.  Ruth Virginia Barton here.   Press Play for some beautiful sounds* as you read.  This online portfolio,

called an ePortfolio, comprises many of the eLearning tools I have learned as a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout's graduate certificate program called eLearning and Online Teaching.   This part of my ePortfolio, the WeBelong School,, is a school for emotional healing I am creating online.   This school website and my ePortfolio website (linked in the menu above) together make up my entire ePortfolio, which is my final assessment for the eLearning certification at Stout and a way to show what I have learned and what I can now do online.   My final projects for E-learning for Educators, Assessments, Instructional Design, Collaborative Communities, and the eLearning Practicum are in these combined websites, all classes that are part of the E-learning and Online Teaching certification program advised by the great Dennis O'Connor.   You will find my final 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 this new online school for emotional healing called the  WeBelong School (WeBS).  (Occasionally you may find a reference to WeBelong's old name, TheHomeSchool.)  Its blended learning (online and face-to-face (F2F)) program is a work in progress.  It is a Safe Haven School supporting children and adults recovering from trauma using techniques of social and emotional healing.  These techniques include an online support group called The Safety Net and WeBS's student-centered and creative academic curriculum called the Compassionate Curriculum.  WeBelong School,, a Safe Haven School with its Compassionate Curriculum, is an idea whose time has finally arrived:  educational technology (using online tech 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 WeBelong School, which believes in evaluation through student engagement and the unexpectedly wonderful and refreshing world of project-based authentic assessment.*  And I learned to include Spirit as my major tech guru!  I decided to create my final project for Instructional Design as a continuation and further manifestation of WeBS.  This project included a mini-course I designed called Emotional Healing Within a Safe Online Community, where students participate in an online support group and learn to connect online with each other and their teacher in supportive, trustworthy ways.  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 I took this class how embracing every experience -- including 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 WeBS fires.  I also learned how to begin thinking like an online teacher.  I came full circle and proceeded as a course intern -- an actual online instructor! -- with the incomparably wonderful Maggie Rouman as my mentor teacher in a second go-round with E-learning for Educators; and the truly great Dennis O'Connor, who as courageous leader of our Practicum class I finally got to find my real teacher-self, 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.