Distance Learning, IPads and E-Literacy

on Oct 29, 12 • by • with Comments

My husband is separated from me and my daughter by 2,000 miles during my sabbatical here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We are determined to continue our traditional family time despite the distances.  How we engage in meaningful dialogues leads to less loneliness and motivation to appreciate all that we can from life in a...
Pin It

Home » Featured, Instruction&Curriculum, Technology » Distance Learning, IPads and E-Literacy

My husband is separated from me and my daughter by 2,000 miles during my sabbatical here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We are determined to continue our traditional family time despite the distances.  How we engage in meaningful dialogues leads to less loneliness and motivation to appreciate all that we can from life in a new environment.  Our experiment with distance learning began with our Ipad.  Face time allowed us to bring “Flat Daddy” to the dinner table and eat as a family.  Together, we watched  the sunset and  the quail scurry in the backyard. Together we could brush our teeth.  Flat Daddy enabled us to continue the nightly story time routine while I used a few moments for other chores.  Our daughter did protest the routine reliance on Face time when she realized that hugging the Ipad gave her little comfort.  As two veteran teachers in public schools, my husband and I recognize the same concerns with balancing technology and education in hybrid or blended learning (courses taught both online and in a mandatory classroom).  The advantages of communication with our Ipad were too important to give up on but it would be necessary to readily adapt to the rapidly changing learning environment we had created.

Adaptation and routine is a difficult balance for teachers and students. Flat Daddy did fly out for visit and this reestablished our relationship as willing members of our blended classroom.  Meeting together and listening to our daughter’s evaluation was crucial to adapting the proper resources for improving this study.  We discovered that it was impossible for her to follow a chapter book read to her online as she became easily distracted by her own environment.  We also learned that our daughter objected to Facetime meetings at the same time each night for a forced family discussion. We clarified our purpose and decided that readings would be shorter with a focus on problem solving.  Short mysteries series (American Girl, Magic Tree House, A to Z  Mysteries) provided us with “I wonder” and “do you suppose” predictions that kept the chapters fresh in her mind and led to better Facetime discussions at the virtual dinner table.  Online discussion was shortened and  daughter gained the responsibility of picking the next meeting time, often set for only a 1/2 hour later.

Gaming is an incentive for improved dialogue.  With the Ipad in front of her and my IPhone in her hand, our daughter used the Draw Something app to send a picture of a word to Flat Daddy  . Watching him receive the drawing, led to much laughter, afforded hints and great enthusiasm when the image was deciphered.  Flat Daddy sent one back and this game continued for at least an hour one morning.    The same affect happened with Will Short’s Sunday Puzzle.  We all listen to the puzzle podcast, shout out guesses, replay the podcast, and discuss puzzle solutions.  Another app with momentary appeal is Draw a Stickman.  Gaming creates interactions that are engaging, unintentional yet purposeful.

So what has this experiment taught me about education? E Literacy is an integral part of the blended classroom when there is room for negotiation, adaptation and construction.  Routine person to person interactions are necessary.  However if long periods of time pass between feedback between individuals, people become disengaged. Technology is supposed to spawn change which means that adults & children are part of that collective intelligence, sharing incentives and strategies for best practice. Teachers can provide purpose and framework but can trust student’s articulated opinions for how learning is received. While educators lose some control, students gain valuable responsibilities. Our Flat Daddy construct worked because we allowed for instant response to our daughter’s perspective and we narrowed our focus on readings that fostered habits of critical thinking, nothing else.

In the real classroom, I admit that not all E Literacy can activate higher orders of thinking.  While active, intuitive and visual learning styles benefit the most from online collaborations, learning styles adjust and new preferences can be stimulated when change or self reliance is expected.  This means that assessment must be based on the exploration of multiple pathways and student eagerness to utilize tools for learning.  Gaming can be the tool for exploration and indirect learning opportunities. If nothing else our Flat Daddy dialogues became richer when our daughter had a the gaming text connections to talk about.  Purposeful discussion has helped bridge the physical distances between our family members and bridge the distance between home and school.  Education that fosters experimentation and practice is a construct that can go wherever you may go.


Gunawardena, C. N., Hermans, M., Sanchez, D., Richmond, C., Bohley, M., & Tuttle, R. (2009). A theoretical framework for building online communities of practice with social networking tools. Educational Media International, 46(1), 3-16. Retrieved from Education Research Complete.

Guthrie, K. L., & McCracken, H. (2010). ReflectivePedagogy: Making Meaning in Experiential Based Online Courses. Journal ofEducators Online, 7(2), 1-21. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Savery, J. R., BE VOCAL: Characteristics of successfulonline instructors. (2010).Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 9(3), 141-152. Retrieved from Education ResearchComplete.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly

Related Posts


  1. Marc says:

    Great write up—makes me feel not quite so flat……. Sincerely, flat Daddy.

  2. […] week Flatdaddy and I facilitated a follow up session with the classroom to classroom Skype between New Mexico and […]

  3. […] My husband is separated from me and my daughter by 2,000 miles during my sabbatical here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We are determined to continue our traditional family time despite the distances.  […]

Scroll to top

Download Your FREE Ebook!

Sign up to Download your FREE Ebook, "EDUCATION AT A GLIMPSE: Five Things Everyone Needs to Know About Education"!

click here Online pharmacy - best prices! The canadian pharmacy offers cialis online 10,20 - discounts and free shipping applied. Canadian pharmacy no prescription canada. buy cialis without rx Canada medicine. Canada. 24h online support fda approved pharmacy canadian pharmacy, best prices. Generic viagra, cialis, levitra. My canadian pharmacy low shipping rates online canadian pharmacy. No prescription cheapest price. discount brand name cialis more info 100% satisfaction guaranteed canadian drugs worldwide shipping. Canadian pharmacy online. Canadian drugs online. how often does levitra cause blindness Approved canadian pharmacy buy ed drugs online buy viagra online and order cheap viagra prescription with guaranteed lowest prices. Approved canadian pharmacy. Support 24\7. Levitra from canadian pharmacy online drugstore buy canada viagra. Pills shop, big discounts! Canadian online pharmacy cheap propecia no prescription Online canadian drugs canadian pharmacy shop. Online canadian pharmacy prescription drugs from online canadian pharmacy. Canadian pharmacy, online canada drugs store. how to get cialis branded cialis Cheap generic and brand pills, best prices! Canadian pharmacy viagra online fda approved pharmacy, lowest prices cheap prescription drugs. Approved canadian pharmacy samples of cialis Approved pharmacy canada pharmacies fda approved medications official canadian pharmacy canadian pharmacy online. buy cialis on line Low shipping rates. Online canadian drugs. Cialis canadian pharmacy approved pharmacy order the cheapest drugs. Canadian pharmacy online - internet drugstore - buy canadian drugs online! Approved canadian pharmacy. Free bonus pills for every order canadian prescription drugs. Canada drugstore. erectile dysfunction treatment, starting with the drugs taken without water and ending with a surgical prosthetics, will be considered in this review.">website get info Worldwide shipping. Next day delivery cialis viagra levitra from online canadian pharmacy cheap drugs the biggest healthcare centre Canadian pharmacy ? Canadian pharmacy get free pills (viagra - cialis - levitra). Approved canadian pharmacy canadian pharmacy. Save 50-90% ? buy cialis cheap