— Elizabeth Smith
Elizabeth Smith has been doing techno-learning since 1992, when it consisted of community college courses delivered over the local cable station. She’s worked in retail, in catering, and as a doula, providing birth support, for which she was privately certified. When her husband returned from service in Iraq in 2008, she became involved in running support groups for families suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. As the work became a calling, she decided to finish her bachelor’s and earn a master’s degree in counseling. First she enrolled in Charter Oak State College, taking online classes in upper- level writing, feminist history, and other topics “that I found fascinating.” In addition to the school’s online platform, which included classroom blogs, the class discussions continued on Facebook. She turned to Straighterline to earn some math credits that had proved elusive. “I’d taken a CLEP [a College Board exam] and a DANTES [another alternative credit exam] and they weren’t working for me, and I didn’t have time to take a whole other class just to get into my master’s program. So my advisor told me about Straighterline.” Elizabeth got down to business with the Straighterline college algebra course the first week of summer vacation. Every day she took the kids to the pool and sat next to it with her laptop. “The first week of summer vacation was a 40 hour math week. It was great—I had a private tutor, I had videos, and it was all self-paced.” At the end of the week she passed college algebra. Today she’s in her second semester of a master’s program in social work at the University of Maryland, where she plans to continue taking at least one online class per semester. She sees it as a way of keeping her technological skills sharp, from blogging to online collaboration, which she’ll need when she’s a professional doing continuing education credits, which are usually offered online. Learn more about Charter Oak.
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Resources Elizabeth Used: